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L rider alert: Wells Street Bridge shuts down again Friday night for nine days

The rumble CTA L cars over Wells Street Bridge resumed March 11 after nine days work replace southern half 90-year-old

The rumble of CTA L cars over the Wells Street Bridge resumed on March 11 after nine days of work to replace the southern half of the 90-year-old bridge. The bridge will be closed from April 26 to May 6 to replace the other half. | Al Podgorski~Sun-Time

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Updated: May 29, 2013 7:06AM



The bad news for CTA L riders: Once again, starting Friday night, the Wells Street Bridge will be shut to rail traffic for nine days, disrupting the commutes of up to 77,000 riders a day.

The good news: A new bridge should be fully in place by the morning rush on Monday, May 6, when normal rail service is expected to resume.

Car drivers and pedestrians won’t be as lucky. The bottom deck of the double-decker Wells Street Bridge will continue to be closed to them until November while workers paint the new bridge and install a new road and sidewalk on it.

The Chicago River around the Wells Street Bridge was already crowded this week with barges full of work supplies — including the north portion of the bridge that awaits installation. Replacement of the southern half of the 91-year-old bridge ended Mar. 11.

CTA officials once again urged weekday Brown and Purple Express Line riders to plan for longer commutes. They will find that:

—Purple Line Express service will be suspended over the entire nine-day period.

—During the week, one third of Brown Line trains headed into the Loop will end at the Merchandise Mart. The other two-thirds –­­– marked “Roosevelt’’ -- will be rerouted at Fullerton onto Red Line tracks and travel only as far as Roosevelt.

—Brown Line customers who need to transfer to other Loop trains can hop on free bus shuttles at Chicago/Franklin, LaSalle/Kinzie, Clark/Lake and Washington/Wells between 4:30 am and 1:30 am.

—After 8 pm, Brown Line trains headed into the Loop will end at Chicago/Franklin.

Plus, extra bus service will be added. During the evening rush, No. 22 Clark, No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express and No. 147 Outer Drive Express will see additional buses. The No. 22 Clark will also have extra morning rush service. No. 37 Sedgwick runs also will be beefed up.

Riders of four rail lines will be impacted for two consecutive weekends by other track work.

Starting at 10 p.m. Friday, Brown, Green, Pink, and Orange service will be disrupted while workers replace track at the CTA’s busiest rail intersection, at Lake and Wells, and in the curves at Hubbard and Kinzie.

Over these two weekends, Brown Line service will end at Chicago/Franklin; Green and Pink Line service from the west will end at Clinton/Lake; Green Line trains from the south will end at Adams/Wabash, with free transfer to a shuttle train to Clark/Lake; and Orange Line service will end at Washington/Wells.

A weekend shuttle bus will connect affected stations, stopping at Chicago/Franklin; LaSalle/Kinzie; Clark/Lake; Washington/Wells and Clinton/Lake between 4:30 am and 1:30 a.m.



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