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Wells Street Bridge to reopen to CTA trains Monday morning

Monday, May 06, 2013

It was a busy Sunday night as construction work wrapped up on Chicago's Wells Street Bridge. Crews were trying to get the project done in time for Monday morning's commute.

CTA trains have not been able to cross the river for the past nine days.

A helicopter hovered over the Merchandise Mart most of Sunday, shuttling materials back and forth for the track replacement that, along with Wells Street Bridge construction, has frustrated elevated train users for the last several days.

Sunday evening the work is all but complete. After nine days and nights of non-stop construction the Wells Street Bridge will reopen to elevated train traffic just in time for the morning commute.

"Is it over?" asked Brown Line user Alex Plotkin. "I didn't know when it was over. There you go, I can sleep in a little bit longer."

For the second time in as many months, Brown and Purple Line users have had to deal with shuttle buses and re-routes in order to get into and out of the Loop. At the end of its useful life, the 90-year old bridge had to have both its north and south end leaves replaced.

While tiring, CTA commuters we spoke to appreciate the upgrades.

"It's been a fair trade," said Brown Line user Frank Smith. "Apparently when they are finished it will roll a whole lot faster."

While Brown and Purple Line users can now breathe a sigh of relief, the fun is about to start for the Red Line. On May 19, the nine southernmost stations will close for approximately five months for a full reconstruction of the tracks.

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