02/12/2013 03:23 pm ET

CTA Brown Line, Purple Line Loop Service Cuts Ahead In The Spring

Construction on the Wells Street bridge in the Loop will make for some major travel headaches for riders of the CTA's Brown and Purple Lines -- as well as Red Line riders -- in the spring.

The CTA announced Monday that service to the Loop on the Brown Line will be temporarily halted from March 1 to March 10, as well as April 26 to May 5, while Chicago Department of Transportation workers replace parts of the 91-year-old bridge and CTA workers replace tracks, the agency announced. Purple Line Express riders will also be without service to the Loop from March 4 to March 8 and April 29 to May 3.

During the temporary Purple Line Express service shutdown, Purple Line trains will go no further south than Howard, while one of every three Brown Line trains will only go as far south as the Merchandise Mart stop. The remaining two will use the Red Line tracks between Fullerton and Roosevelt. The Red Line is expected to see increased crowding as a result of the closures.

As an alternative, CTA will reportedly be offering added bus service, shuttle buses and a Loop shuttle train. Or, you know, you could drive. The agency is laying out all its options on its website.

According to Crain's Chicago Business, about 38,000 daily weekday Brown Line and Purple Line riders will see their commute impacted by the news. But the CTA insists that the suspended service will be worth it in the long run.

"When we're done we will have extended the life of that infrastructure for about another 50 years," Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein explained to ABC Chicago.

Photo by vxla via Flickr.