Red Ahead: Red & Purple Modernization
Conceptual, artist's rendering of a redone station

Lawrence-Bryn Mawr Modernization Project

The first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Program would completely rebuild the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations and all the tracks and support structures for more than a mile adjacent to the stations.

New stations and full ADA accessibility

While CTA has made some improvements to these stations in recent years, the main support structures for all four stations were built in the early 1900s. All have very narrow station platforms that prevent CTA from adding critical upgrades like elevators. These stations will be completely torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. This will allow CTA to expand and modernize the stations and ensure they are full ADA accessible to customers with disabilities.

Additional amenities at the stations will include:

  • Wider platforms for faster boarding and less crowding
  • Better lighting and customer security features
  • Longer canopies, more benches, and wind screens
  • Real-time information boards


Artistic, conceptual rendering of a reconstructed Bryn Mawr station

Artistic, conceptual rendering of a reconstructed station interior


New tracks and infrastructure for faster, more reliable rides

The first phase of the RPM Program will also include extensive track work that will create a faster, smoother, and quieter ride for customers along what are now aging, slow-zone-plagued tracks. New track, support structures, bridges, and viaducts will be built along the approximately 1.3-mile segment between Leland and Ardmore Avenues, eliminating many deteriorated structures that have become neighborhood eyesores.

The reconstruction of stations, tracks, and infrastructure will benefit the 28,000 daily trips that begin or end at the four stations in this corridor, the 45,000 people that live within a ½ mile of these stations, and the almost 80,000 train trips that travel through this area every weekday. This project is intended to not only improve transit service but also support economic development initiatives and encourage redevelopment within Uptown and Edgewater.

Read a brochure about this project (.pdf) (.pdf en español)


Potential Redevelopment

Some property acquisition would be required to implement this project. Following construction, CTA would solicit proposals to sell remaining parcels of land for new retail and residential development. There is growing demand for Transit Oriented Development in Chicago neighborhoods, and CTA will work with local stakeholders to promote redevelopment after the project construction is complete.

Information about potentially impacted properties (.pdf) 


Project Status

Project Timeline

  • Late 2017: Select up to four of the most qualified bidders
  • Late 2017: Issue Draft RFP to the shortlist (purpose: Get comments, questions from bidders to ultimately shape RFP)
  • 2018: Issue RFP
  • By early 2019: Award design-build contract
  • 2019: Major construction begins on both Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization and Red-Purple Bypass. Construction is estimated to last 4 to 5 years into the mid-2020s.


Environmental Assessment

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is a federal law that mandates the consideration of environmental impacts before approval of any federally funded project that may have significant impacts on the environment or where impacts have not yet been determined.

The NEPA process provides a decision-making framework to consider the purpose and need for a proposed action, potential design solutions, project costs, environmental impacts and relative benefits of the proposed action.

FTA and CTA published an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project on April 29, 2015, established a 30-day public comment period to accept formal comments, and hosted apublic hearing on May 14, 2015.

Based on a review of the EA and all public comments received, FTA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for this project. The FONSI documentation includes responses to comments received as well as suggested mitigation measures to minimize the environmental impacts of the project, including impacts to historic resources.

Supporting documents related to the EA process are provided below. The issuance of the FONSI means that CTA has identified all potential impacts and ways to minimize and mitigate those impacts and that based on that information, FTA has found that there would be no significant impacts resulting from implementation of this project. The FONSI is required before CTA can receive federal funding to construct the project.

Press Release 4/29/2015
Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization EA formal Notice of Availability and Public Hearing (.pdf) (.pdf en español)
Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization EA Project Summary Booklet (.pdf) (.pdf en español)
Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization EA (.pdf) (accessible alternative .pdf)
Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Section 106 Draft Memorandum of Agreement (.pdf)
Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization May 14, 2015 Public Hearing Exhibit Boards (.pdf)
Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (.pdf)

See Project Documents for additional information, including appendices.


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