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Brown Line riders surprised by Wells St. bridge closing

The Wells street bridge Thursday morning February 28 2013. Sections he 90-year-old structure will be dismantled replaced starting 10 pm

The Wells street bridge Thursday morning February 28, 2013. Sections of he 90-year-old structure will be dismantled and replaced starting at 10 pm Friday. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 4, 2013 7:02AM

There were looks of confusion, anger and annoyance Saturday as would-be L riders tried to get on the Brown Line at the Merchandise Mart only to find the entrance closed because of the replacement of the Wells Street bridge.

“That sucks,” Andrea Bizon, 19, said as she looked at a closed-off stairwell.

Another woman complained,“I’m going to be late.”

Both decks of the 90-year-old double-decker bridge will be shut down until the morning rush on March 11 as the first part of the work is done. The closing, which took effect Friday night, is prompting changes in Brown Line service, with some trains going to the Merchandise Mart and others being routed through the CTA’s Red Line subway tracks through downtown and turning back at Roosevelt Road. Purple Line Express service won’t run during the work.

As she approached the closed-off entrance Saturday night, Joy Dean read the posted sign and said,“I should just go to the ATM and take a cab.”

But the 21-year-old, headed to a babysitting job, said she wasn’t annoyed.

“It’s Chicago,” she said. “Chicago is an adventure all the time.”

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