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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) yesterday released an environmental assessment document offering details about a planned fifth-track bypass for Brown Line trains.The bypass, which would allow Brown Line trains to travel above Red and Purple Line tracks, comprises the next step of the Red and Purple Modernization program's first phase.The existing intersection causes delays, as trains must stop and wait for others to cross the junction, CTA officials said in a press release."This outdated track configuration is the equivalent of a traffic signal in the middle of a busy highway," said CTA Chief Planning Officer Carole Morey. "The Red-Purple Bypass is a critical component of the Red and Purple Modernization Program that will allow the CTA to add more train service to meet growing demand on all three lines, especially at rush hour when trains are most crowded."Including repair work and construction costs, the Red-Purple Bypass project would cost $570 million, according to the document. CTA aims to pay for the bypass project through the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts grant program, as well as a mix of state and local funds.Once funding is secured, construction work could begin as soon as 2017.
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