Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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CTA plans to replace old bridge on El’s Purple Line

The Chicago Transit Authority has begun plans replace the 98-year-old train bridge over Church Street. Once construction is complete, trains will be able to cross the bridge faster.

“Trains currently go slower over the viaduct … to preserve it,” CTA spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said. “The viaduct has deteriorated over the years.”

The CTA began advertising for construction developers in the first week of February. Once a developer is selected, a construction schedule will be made, Ziegler said.

“It’s too early in the process to provide information on closings and delays and whether there will be any,” Ziegler said.

The CTA also will not know whether traffic on Church Street will be affected until it chooses a developer, she said.

The replacement will be similar to the construction of the Main Street viaduct that was completed in December 2005, Ziegler said. The Main Street viaduct also was deteriorating and slowing down travel time, according to an August CTA press release.

That project, which cost $3.7 million, shut down the Purple Line for a weekend in November. During the service shutdown, the CTA set up a special bus to help Purple Line customers.

When funding is available the CTA also would like to replace other train bridges in Evanston along the Purple Line, she said.

Evanston resident Scott Roberts said he takes the El past Main Street to go to work. Before the construction, he noticed a slow-down in his trip.

“I just get that feel(ing) that you are not going full speed,” he said.

Now that the renovations are complete he notices no delay, he said.

– Lensay Abadula

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CTA plans to replace old bridge on El’s Purple Line