Mayor Thanks Senator Schoenberg, CTA President for Purple Line Upgrades
The Chicago Transit Authority and the City of Evanston held a press conference on June 21 to discuss the recent $10.3 million in upgrades made to the Purple Line in Evanston. These upgrades include the replacement of 100-year-old viaducts at Grove, Dempster and Greenleaf Streets in Evanston, as well the repair of the retaining wall along Chicago Avenue from Madison Street to South Boulevard. Speakers included CTA President Forrest Claypool, Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg, Mayor Tisdahl of Evanston, and Alderman Melissa Wayne of Evanston.
Mayor Tisdahl expressed her gratitude for all the efforts that State Senator Jeff Schoenberg and CTA President Forrest Claypool made to make this possible along with the lobbying efforts of Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.
These new viaducts will be more visually appealing, expanding the flow of customers to businesses on both sides of the viaducts, thereby creating greater opportunities for economic development. The viaducts’ footprints will be smaller, allowing for better sightlines for pedestrians and drivers, which will increase safety for both. The trains along the line will be able to run a bit faster, delivering people to locations throughout Evanston and Chicago with greater ease and speed.
Additionally, CTA fixed the embankment wall along Chicago Avenue from Madison Street to South Boulevard in Fall 2011. The embankment became more visually appealing, which added greater value to vital commercial and residential areas.
“By Monday morning, commuters of the Purple Line will be riding over completely new bridges and viaducts,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool during the conference.
The Dempster and Grove viaducts will be replaced with brand new structures completing the installation of a total of three bridges in Evanston which were in desperate need of repair. The bridges weigh 400,000 pounds. Thanks to advances in technology, workers are able to assemble them nearby and roll them into place.
This is a complex construction and engineering process but one that allowed the CTA to continue rail operations and service through construction. That service will now be faster with the elimination of slow-zones, allowing trains to ride over the bridges at full speeds rather than 15 miles an hour.
“They represent just the latest investments the CTA is making to upgrade our infrastructure—improvements that enable us to better serve our customers,” Claypool said as he also commended the value that local leaders place on public transportation.