Five CTA rail lines will be affected by two nine-day shutdowns of the Wells Street Bridge in March and April, impacting at least 77,000 travelers a day, officials said Monday.
The 90-year-old bridge will be closed for reconstruction from 10 p.m. Friday March 1 until the Monday rush hour on March 11, and again from 10 p.m. Friday, April 26 until morning rush hour on Monday, May 6.
The reconstruction work will impact portions of the Brown and Purple lines during the week, and, on the weekend, the Brown, Green, Pink and Orange lines.
To get riders over the hump, the CTA will offer free shuttle buses in the same Loop pattern covered by the Brown and Purple lines; increase the frequency of some bus routes and run some Brown line trains on Red line tracks.
Work replacing portions of the double-decker bridge will add 50 years to its life, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein said.
“It’s a little bit of pain…but it will be well worth it,’’ Klein said at a wind-blown news conference near the bridge with CTA President Forrest Claypool.
The work represents the first time the city has replaced a portion of a double-decker bridge, Klein said.
“It’s really an incredible feat of engineering,’’ Klein said.
On any given weekday, travelers make 77,000 one-way transit trips over the Wells Street bridge, officials said.
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