CTA: Commuters to Be 'Significantly Impacted' - NBC Chicago

CTA: Commuters to Be 'Significantly Impacted'



    Traffic reporter Kye Martin talks you through an alternate commute plan when Brown and Red Line trains stop crossing the Wells Street Bridge this week. (Published Friday, March 1, 2013)

    CTA riders might hit a roadblock in their commute this week.

    The first of two nine-day closures over the Wells Street Bridge began Friday at 10 p.m. and will continue through March 11.
    The closures will affect the Brown and Purple lines and riders are encouraged to plan ahead for longer commutes, crowded trains and less frequent train times.
    The construction intends to rebuild one leaf of the bascule bridge during each nine-day segment and includes replacement of tracks on and near the bridge.
    The last time this bridge was rehabbed was more than 50 years ago.
    CTA President Forrest Claypool said the major structural components need to be replaced, but will still maintain their vintage appearance.
    This will be the first time that the city has replaced large sections of an active bridge that also carries CTA trains, according to CTA President Forrest Claypool.
    "This is really an incredible feat," he said. "It's really like performing open heart surgery on a living patient."
    Claypool estimated the construction will extend the life of the bridge by 75 years or more.
    Restoration of the 90-year-old bridge will significantly impact thousands of train riders, especially during rush hours, CTA officials said.
    • Keep updated with Chicago traffic here.
    There will be shuttle buses and trains on elevated tracks in the Loop throughout the week to assist some of the impacted travelers. 
    The second set of closures is scheduled for late April.