Downtown commuters rejoice: The Wells Street bridge is re-open to trains as of Monday morning.
Following nine days of commute-crushing construction to repair the aging structure, the first Purple and Brown line trains rolled across the rails around 4 a.m. Monday and CTA had reported service was back to normal, according to ABC Chicago.
(See photos of the Wells Street bridge construction below.)Reassuring commuters, the Chicago Department of Transportation tweeted evidence early Monday:
— CDOT (@ChicagoDOT) March 11, 2013
Since March 1, passengers aboard Chicago Transit Authority Purple and Brown lines faced trickier (and longer) commutes due to service shutdowns in the Loop. Some of the pain spilled over to the Red Line and buses though communication between the CTA and riders improved as the week wore on.
"We made a lot of adjustments on that first day," Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein said according to NBC Chicago.
Commuter Adam Karupa told Fox, "It's been a little inconvenient I guess just to walk across different streets but it really hasn't been too much out of my way. [It's] impressive I guess, with how quickly they were able to do it."
Crews worked in 12-hour shifts — even during the snowstorm — to repair the southern half of the bridge that, last year, was listed structurally as "basically intolerable" by the National Bridge Inventory, according to Fox Chicago.
While the bridge remains closed for cars, bikers and pedestrians, the bridge will close again to Brown and Purple Line trains when the northern half of the bridge is replaced in phase two of construction beginning April 26. The bridge will re-open May 6, and WGN reports sometime later in the summer, crews will re-paint the bridge its historic red.