CTA to Install New Steel Viaduct at Main Street this Weekend

November 10, 2005

Bus Service for Purple Line Customers Friday, Saturday and Sunday

With a new 100 foot long steel bridge ready to be lifted and rolled into place this weekend, Chicago Transit Authority and Evanston officials today noted the progress on the Main Street viaduct replacement project. Scheduled for completion by the end of the year, a new steel viaduct at Main Street will replace the existing 95-year-old concrete structure which has deteriorated over time due to exposure to the elements. The new viaduct will eliminate the need for trains to reduce speed over that section of track thereby improving travel time for Purple Line customers.

Because of the construction activity, Purple Line service from Linden to Howard will be temporarily suspended on November 11 starting at 8:30 p.m. through Sunday, November 13 while the old viaduct is demolished and the new steel viaduct structure is hoisted by hydraulic lift and rolled into place by construction crews. Regular Purple Line service will resume Monday, November 14 at 4 a.m.

CTA will provide bus service for Purple Line customers during the temporary closure. A Purple Line shuttle bus will operate in both directions in place of regular rail service from 7:45 p.m. Friday, November 11 until 1:20 a.m. Monday, November 14. Buses will make stops at or near all Purple Line stations.

?We try to limit the impact of construction projects on service as much as possible, but with an installation of this magnitude it is necessary to have unrestricted access to the structure," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?When the project is completed at the end of the year, Purple Line customers will experience more efficient service and Evanston will have a taller viaduct with greater clearance as well as brighter lighting under the bridge."

In addition to viaduct replacement, CTA crews will use this time to perform maintenance, repair and cleaning work at the stations and along the tracks. Plans include replacing rail ties, cleaning light fixtures, power washing and painting stations if weather permits, and installing duct work for future fiber optic installation along the line.

?This new viaduct is one of several CTA capital improvement projects currently underway in our continuing effort to bring the system to a state of good repair," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We are grateful to the Regional Transit Authority and our state and federal elected officials for their support in securing capital funds to invest in infrastructure improvements that help improve service for our customers."

Kruesi said that the 2006 budget approved by the Chicago Transit Board yesterday includes $3.5 million in capital funds for an additional Evanston viaduct replacement in the 2006.

Construction of the new viaduct began on August 15 just east of the existing viaduct. During construction Main Street has been closed between Custer and Chicago Avenue, requiring CTA #200 Main Shuttle buses to be rerouted via Main-Ridge-Greenleaf-Chicago-Main. #200 Main Shuttle buses are scheduled to return to their regular route on Friday, November 18.

The Purple Line extends from the Linden station in Wilmette to the Howard terminal in Chicago where customers can make connections with Red Line and Yellow Line trains. Purple Line Express trains operate Monday through Friday during morning and afternoon rush periods offering non-stop service from Howard to Belmont, then making all stops to the Loop. The Purple Line is the sixth busiest rail line in the CTA system, totaling 3,025,842 rides in 2004.

Elgin, Illinois-based Kiewit-Western is serving as the construction contractor on the $3.7 million capital improvement project. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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