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Claypool: Belmont Bypass 'Absolutely Necessary'

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 11, 2015 9:00PM

A rendering of the proposed Belmont Overpass.(Chicago Transit Authority)

Doesn’t is seem that whenever the Emanuel administration pushes for something to be done, they frame it as a necessity instead of a choice? That seems to be the foundation for Emanuel’s efforts to land the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and Obama Presidential Library. Now one of Emanuel’s top lieutenants is framing an integral part of the Red Line’s north branch renovations in such a manner.

Chicago Transit Authority president Forrest Claypool said construction of an overpass at the Belmont Red/Brown/Purple Line station that would allow Brown Line trains to travel over incoming and outgoing Red and Purple Line trains was “absolutely necessary” to avoid masses of trains waiting to arrive or leave the station and to address the growing population density in the area the station serves.

“There’s no question a bypass is needed,” Claypool said. He added the design of the overpass will undergo some tweaks after community meetings are held so that the project looks good.

It may not matter how pretty the bypass looks. Neighborhood residents and business owners are more concerned about all the buildings CTA is looking to raze to accommodate the project. As many as 30 buildings and vacant lots are being targeted for razing to build the bypass.