Controversy surrounds 'Belmont Flyover' CTA project in Wrigleyville

A massive CTA project is on the fast track.

Demolition crews have begun preparing to tear down more than a dozen homes and buildings in Wrigleyville to make way for what's being called the Belmont Flyover.

While it should improve efficiency and travel times on the Red and Purple lines, not everyone is on board

Work crews on Wednesday capped off underground gas lines, which is the first step in the demolition of four single family homes and a large condo building in the 3200 block of North Wilton.

They're among 14 buildings the CTA plans to bulldoze to make way for the Belmont Flyover, which promises to shave commuter times and allow for 15 more trains per hour on the congested Red and Purple lines.

Commuters are all for it.

"I think it's great. I mean anything that helps out the transportation in the city,” one man said.

"If they think they're going to maximize efficiency with getting people to work, getting people where they need to go on time, then it's worth the money,” a woman said.

The flyover is part of a larger two-billion-dollar renovation of the Red and Purple lines that will improve track and renovate a half dozen stations.

currently Brown Line trains have to cut across two sets of tracks just north of the Belmont stop to head west, causing delays for other trains.

The flyover will lift the Brown line tracks up and over the Red and Purple lines, eliminating those delays.

Ellen Hughes has lived across the street from the flyover site for 30 years. She and her neighbors unsuccessfully fought the project, creating a group called "Coalition to Stop the Belmont Flyover."

They say it will create a permanent scar in the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood.

"The fact is it's only a 20-30 second delay on 40 percent of the rides downtown. And another way to fix the problem would have been to simply add two more cars to every train. That's pretty cheap,” Hughes said.

The CTA says all this will be down before opening day at Wrigley Field, which is about a month away. The actual construction of the Flyover won't begin until 2019.

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