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Traffic alert: Rebuilding of Wells, Kedzie bridges will cause congestion

Sections 90-year-old Wells Street bridge  will be dismantled replaced. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Sections of the 90-year-old Wells Street bridge will be dismantled and replaced. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 4, 2013 6:47AM

The rebuilding of two bridges ­— on Wells Street over the Chicago River and on Kedzie over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal — will snarl street traffic this week.

Starting Monday, morning rush-hour drivers on southbound La Salle heading in to the Loop will be affected by the reconstruction of the 90-year-old Wells Street bridge.

From Chicago to Kinzie, southbound La Salle car traffic will be cut down to one lane, with the far-west lane for buses only. No rights turns from La Salle onto Wacker Drive will be allowed.

To avoid a traffic jam, the CTA is encouraging North Side drivers to take Clark or State streets into the Loop.

The morning rush changes are intended to ease the travel of extra buses called into service during the Wells Street bridge work, which will run until Monday, March 11, and then resume again April 26 to May 6.

Brown and Purple Line Express L riders will be even more severely affected while the Wells Street bridge is replaced, one 500,000-pound half per work cycle.

On the Southwest Side, starting Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Transportation will begin reconstructing the 104-year-old Kedzie Avenue bridge. From Tuesday until May 28, traffic on the Kedzie bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Starting May 28, car, bus and bicycle traffic will be completely banned from the bridge and detoured to another canal bridge on California Avenue. Trucks will be redirected to the Pulaski Road canal bridge.

Farther south and to the east, starting May 19, non-rush hour drivers along the Dan Ryan Expressway will be affected by the massive Red Line reconstruction for five months, until Oct. 19. From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, one northbound Ryan lane and one southbound lane will be shut down adjacent to any Red Line work.

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