The Chicago Transit Authority today unveiled plans for a “flyover” viaduct for northbound Brown Line trains at Belmont designed — in part to speed service on the Purple Line to Evanston

The transit agency says the current track configuration — in place since 1907 — creates a bottleneck that requires Red and Purple line trains to wait for the Brown Line trains to clear the crossover.

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The agency says the change would reduce delays and allow it to add as many as nine more trains per hour to rush-hour service.and save commuters an estimates half million travel hours a year.

The CTA says it hopes to have the $320 million flyover project as well as modernization of four north side red line stations completed by 2020.

Subject to available funding, the agency has more tentative plans to then extend the station rebuilding project further north, as far as the end of the Purple Line at Linden in Wilmette.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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