The Chicago Transit Authority will eliminate Purple Line elevated service to the Loop for two nine-day periods starting next month.

The service cuts, the CTA says, are needed as the Chicago Department of Transportation continues reconstruction work on the 90-year-old Wells Street bridge over the Chicago River, which serves both auto and train traffic.

The service cuts will run from 10 p.m. Friday, March 1, until just before the morning rush hour on Monday, March 11, and from 10 p.m. Friday, April 26, through just before the morning rush on Monday, May 6.

Purple Line trains will continue to run through Evanston from Linden to Howard during the construction period.

The CTA says it will also use the shutdown periods to replace tracks on and near the bridge and at the the system’s busiest junction, Tower 18 at Lake and Wells.

The agency plans to offer additional bus service, shuttle buses, some rerouted trains, and a Loop shuttle train during the shutdowns.ning at 10 p.m. and resuming in time for the morning rush period on Monday, May 6.

The shutdown is expected to dramatically increase traffic on the Red Line subway service from Howard Street into the Loop.

Brown Line service will also be affected by the shutdown, with passengers having to transfer to Red Line trains to reach the Loop, although some rush hour Brown Line trains will switch to the Red Line tracks to reach the Loop.

More information about the construction plans is available on the CTA website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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