City to kick off Red and Purple Lines modernization project with Lawrence Avenue station

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Rendering of the reconstructed Bryn Mawr station | Chicago Transit Authority

Preparations are currently underway for the reconstruction of the Red Line’s four oldest stations under the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red and Purple Modernization initiative.

With the Lawrence Avenue station kicking off the project, the city is leasing the adjacent vacant lot to accommodate construction equipment and other activities related to the stop’s transformation.

CTA has already authorized leasing of the empty site at 1130 Lawrence Ave. during a city council meeting on Jan. 16. However, construction of the station won’t begin until the middle of 2019.

The first phase of the project involves rebuilding the Lawrence, Argle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr stations. Design plans will be revealed following the selection of a general contractor within 2018.

In general, updates will be made on 1.3 mi. of adjacent tracks, as well as platforms of all four stations to allow full accessibility for riders with disabilities.

As for the Lawrence stop, its overhaul includes the addition of an elevator system and reconstruction of the station house to make way for a larger structure. It will also reopen with wider platforms.

The station was constructed in 1923 but the original structure was later demolished as it saw several upgrades throughout the years.

It continues to serve the Uptown neighborhood and its surrounding areas, with an annual ridership of more than one million passengers.

Moreover, the project also calls for the construction of a new rail bypass to unclog the 100-year-old junction where the CTA’s Purple, Brown, and Red lines intersect. Such structure is expected to address traffic issues while increasing each line’s capacity.