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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA completes first phase of Wells Street Bridge reconstruction


On Monday, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) resumed Brown and Purple Line service over the Wells Street Bridge after the agency and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed the first phase of the historic bridge's reconstruction.

Since they began the reconstruction work on March 1, crews have been working around the clock to replace the southern half of the 91-year-old bridge over the Chicago River. In a simultaneous project, workers also have been replacing track and signals north and south of the bridge, including the intersection of Lake and Wells streets known as Tower 18, which is considered the busiest rail junction in the agency's system, CTA officials said in a prepared statement.

For the past nine days, Brown and Purple Line trains that normally travel over the bridge were rerouted.

The bridge will remain closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until late this year while CDOT crews rebuild the northern leaf of the bridge and restore the bridge houses, roadway and sidewalks.

CTA and CDOT officials have scheduled work on the project's second phase for April 26-May 6. The same alternative service plan will go into effect during that time, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/13/2013