CHICAGO (CBS) — Demolition work could start this week on several buildings that need to be torn down in Lakeview for the CTA’s controversial “flyover” project for the Red, Brown, and Purple Lines.
The elevated structure would separate Brown Line tracks from Red and Purple Line tracks just north of Belmont, eliminating a bottleneck for CTA trains, and speeding up the commute on the North Side.
According to the CTA, the flyover would allow northbound Brown Line trains to travel above southbound Red and Purple line tracks, rather than crossing through them. It also would allow the CTA to run up to 15 extra trains an hour on the Red, Brown, and Purple lines; as well as operate trains at higher speeds.
“I think it’s going to be great. I get stuck on Brown and Purple line trains in the morning going to work all the time; just kind of get backed up during that key time that we’re going downtown. So if it can shorten my time into work and give me a few more minutes to sleep, that would be great,” Lakeview resident Maddie Carr said.
In order to make way for the flyover, the city must tear down more than a dozen buildings. Officials hope to complete the demolition work by mid-April, or just in time for the Cubs’ home opener.
Some fear the project comes at the expense of historic charm in Lakeview.
“It’s kind of sad, because you’re going to be losing some of the classic construction from Chicago 50 years ago, but all in all it is going to improve the city as a whole,” Al Larosiliere said.
Construction on the flyover would begin next year.