Since March 1, crews have been working around the clock to replace the south half of the 91-year-old Wells Bridge over the Chicago River. Simultaneous to that work, the CTA has been replacing track and signals just north and south of the bridge, including the intersection of Lake and Wells Streets known as Tower 18, the busiest rail junction in the CTA system.
"In nine days, the first portion of this project is complete and the city takes another huge step forward in revitalizing its infrastructure for the future," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Our infrastructure is the lifeblood of our city and this project is a great example of the value of investing in our infrastructure to help drive our economy and keep our people moving."
As with all of the city's large-scale reconstruction projects, CTA and CDOT closely coordinated the schedule and phasing of the two projects to achieve the greatest efficiencies. Doing the work together saved $500,000 and reduced the duration of the project by eight days.
The bridge will remain closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic through late this year, as CDOT crews rebuild the north leaf of the bridge and restore the bridgehouses, roadway and sidewalks.
CTA and CDOT officials said the positive experiences of this project will be applied to Phase 2 of the project, set for April 26-May 6.