CTA Reminds Customers of Upcoming Wells Bridge Work Beginning Tonight

April 26, 2013

Customers reminded to leave early, leave late and allow extra travel time

CTA elevated rail service in and around the Loop will be affected beginning 10 p.m. on Friday, April 26 and will continue until the early morning hours on Monday, May 6, as the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) continues the reconstruction of the Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River. This will be last of the two scheduled nine-day temporary closures of the 90-year old bridge.

During this temporary bridge closure, CTA train service will be significantly impacted, including a temporary suspension of Purple Line Express service and reduced capacity on the Red and Brown lines during the peak of the weekday rush periods, which will result in longer commute times and more crowded trains for those who normally travel during those periods. CTA strongly encourages its customers to plan ahead for longer commutes by leaving earlier, changing travel patterns or considering alternative service.

Normal bus and rail operations are expected to resume in time for the morning rush period service on Monday, May 6.

Service Enhancements

CTA will provide comprehensive alternative service that includes additional bus service, free Loop shuttle buses, some rerouted trains and a Loop shuttle train to alleviate some of the temporary inconveniences for weekday and weekend riders. The service changes that differ slightly from the previous nine-day bridge shutdown include:

  • Weekdays: During the AM rush period only – all southbound Red Line and Brown Line trains operating to Roosevelt via the subway will serve the Red Line (inner) side of the platform at Fullerton. Brown Line trains (to Merchandise Mart) will serve the outer side of the platform at Fullerton. Having subway-bound trains serve one side of the platform and elevated trains serve the other side will help eliminate confusion and speed transfers.
  • Weeknights: After 8 p.m., southbound Brown Line trains will only operate to Chicago/Franklin.
  • Weekends: Work on the track above the intersection at Lake and Wells, known as Tower 18, will begin at 10 p.m. Friday on April 26 and May 3. This work will affect all Loop elevated rail line service – Brown, Green, Orange and Pink. Shuttle service frequency will be increased to assist weekend customers.

CTA will communicate the temporary service changes with customers several ways, including large sandwich board signs and other signage at train stations; announcements on trains, updates on social media; handouts at stations; and online at www.transitchicago.com/wellsbridge.

WEEKEND SERVICE: April 26-28; May 3-5 

Each weekend, beginning at 10 p.m. Friday through end of service on Sunday:

  • Brown Line: service will terminate at Chicago/Franklin.
  • Green/Pink Line: service from the west will terminate at Clinton/Lake.
  • Orange Line: service will terminate at Washington/Wells (trains will travel on the Van Buren and Wells sides of the Loop only).
  • Green Line (from Cottage Grove and Ashland/63rd): trains from the south will terminate at Adams/Wabash and a shuttle train will provide service to Clark/Lake.
  • Blue Line: service will be unaffected.
  • Red Line: will operate normally with additional service to accommodate increased ridership.
  • “L” Shuttle” Bus (free): a weekend bus shuttle will operate between the following stations: Chicago/Franklin, Merchandise Mart (at LaSalle/Kinzie), Clark/Lake (at LaSalle/Lake), Washington/Wells and Clinton/Lake. Shuttles will operate from approximately 4:30 a.m. to end of service (approximately 1:30 a.m.).

WEEKDAY SERVICE: April 29-May 3  

AM/PM Rush Period Service

During the morning (AM) and evening (PM) rush periods only on weekdays from April 29-May 3:

  • Purple Line Express: There will be no Purple Line Express service to the Loop. Purple Line trains will terminate at the Howard Station. Customers can transfer to Red Line trains at Howard or should consider alternative transportation.
  • Brown Line (elevated): one of every three southbound Brown Line trains will terminate service at the Merchandise Mart. Note: at the Fullerton station only, southbound Brown Line trains operating to the Merchandise Mart will serve the southbound Brown Line (outer) side of the platform. Customers should consider taking Brown Line trains marked “Roosevelt” which will operate through the State Street Subway to Roosevelt due to limited service to the Merchandise Mart. (see below for more details)
  • “Brown Line Shuttle” Bus (free): customers who wish to connect with other Loop trains to continue their trip can exit at the Chicago/Franklin station and take a bus shuttle to Merchandise Mart (at LaSalle/Kinzie), Clark/Lake (at LaSalle/Lake) and Washington/Wells. Shuttles will operate from approximately 4:30 a.m. to end of service (approximately 1:30 a.m.).
  • Brown Line to Roosevelt (subway): the remaining (two out of three trains) southbound Brown Line trains – which will be marked “Roosevelt” with a red-colored destination sign – will travel through the Red Line State Street subway, with Brown Line service terminating at Roosevelt. Note: at the Fullerton station only, southbound Red and Brown line trains that are scheduled to operate through the State Street subway will serve the southbound Red Line (inner) side of the platform.
  • Loop Shuttle Train (free transfer): will be provided to operate only around the Loop to assist Brown Line customers who exit another train in the Loop. Will operate from approximately 4:30 a.m. to end of service (approximately 1:30 a.m.).
  • Bus Service Alternative (south of Fullerton): to assist Brown Line passengers on the southern portion of route and Red Line customers at the North/Clybourn station, CTA will add temporary weekday bus service to the peak travel direction during the AM and PM rush periods along the #37 Sedgwick route (normal bus fares will apply).
    • Some of this additional service will be provided as a temporary deviation to the route with service starting at the Armitage Brown Line station (via “#37A Sedgwick/Armitage” buses) and then connect to North/Clybourn Red Line Station and resume the regular #37 route at North and Sedgwick. The #37 extends south into the Loop to the Wells/Adams. 
    • Service will also be added to the #37 Sedgwick route starting/ending at Fullerton.
  • Added Bus Service: additional service will be provided on #22 Clark AM/PM rush; #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express and #147 Outer Drive Express PM rush only.
  • Red Line: CTA will also be providing its usual extra service for fans heading to evening Cubs games at Wrigley Field.
Midday and Evening Service

At all other times outside of the AM and PM rush periods:

  • Brown Line: No Brown Line trains will operate in the subway. Service will be reduced and trains will operate every 10-12 minutes with 8-car trains operating to the Merchandise Mart until 8 p.m. After 8 p.m. southbound (to the Loop) Brown Line trains will only operate to Chicago/Franklin. Shuttles will operate between Chicago/Franklin and the Loop from approximately 4:30 a.m. to end of service (approximately 1:30 a.m.).
  • Loop Shuttle Train (free transfer): will be provided to operate only around the Loop to assist Brown Line customers who exit another train in the Loop. Will operate from approximately 4:30 a.m. to end of service (approximately 1:30 a.m.).
  • Red Line: Additional off-peak service will be added.
     

These temporary changes in service are needed while CDOT continues its reconstruction of the 90-year-old Wells Street Bridge. Simultaneously, CTA will perform work on Tower 18 and replace tracks in the curves at Hubbard and Kinzie, avoiding future street closures and service disruptions for CTA customers. By performing the work while CDOT completes the Wells bridge repairs, CTA will reduce the duration of the work by eight days.  Additionally, combining the work will save CDOT and CTA $500,000 in construction coordination costs.

Tower 18 is the CTA’s busiest junction, with five of eight rail lines passing through each weekday. This junction handles nearly 700 trains each weekday and nearly 500 on the average weekend. Upgrades to Tower 18 and additional track work will increase safety and reliability and is part of the CTA’s $33.8 million Loop Track Renewal project that launched last year.

 

###

 
Back to news
System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Brown Line
Normal Service
Green Line
Normal Service
Orange Line
Normal Service
Pink Line
Normal Service
Purple Line
Normal Service
Yellow Line
Normal Service
Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts