Wells Street Bridge Construction Ahead of Schedule

Officials say the work could be done before Monday morning's commute

Good news, commuters: The construction of the 91-year-old Wells Street Bridge is ahead of schedule.

The Chicago Department of Transportation told the Chicago Tribune the project is running about eight or nine hours ahead of what's expected and should be wrapped up before Monday morning's commute.

The second phase of construction started Friday and caused some train delays at the start of the work week, but officials said they are trying to make it easier this time around for commuters, especially on the Brown Line, to find their way to work.

"All of the trains going into the subway will be on the inner track, which is typically the Red Line track, and all of the Brown Line trains going to Merchandise Mart will be on the outside track," CTA spokesman Brian Steele said Monday. "That way when you're at Fullerton you know if you're going downtown past Merchandise Mart, the inner track is the place you want to be."

The latest construction marks the last round of work to replace the bridge as well as the Chicago Transit Authority train tracks and equipment that run along it.

Officials urged commuters who take the Purple, Red and Brown lines to allow extra travel time or find an alternate route.

The bridge was closed for nine days last month. During that time, crews worked on barges for 12-hour shifts, even during a snowstorm, to replace the first half of the bridge. The project was mammoth by construction standards, but the CTA said they got it done on time and on budget.

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