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Once in a century view

For the first time in a century, people could look west on Church Street from Benson Avenue today without seeing the old concrete viaduct that carried the CTA tracks over the street.

For a little while, only the Metra viaduct crosses Church Street.

For the first time in a century, people could look west on Church Street from Benson Avenue today without seeing the old concrete viaduct that carried the CTA tracks over the street.

For a little while, only the Metra viaduct crosses Church Street.

Construction crews working through the night demolished the decaying old viaduct and prepared to roll in a new steel one.

Workers put finishing touches on two precast concrete piers before moving them into place to support the new viaduct.

And they took time to paint the new bridge.

The new bridge was resting on massive wheeled jacks that would be used to roll the new structure down the block and into alignment with the tracks.

All the work backed up traffic for blocks along the detour route, which diverted Church Street traffic north onto Maple Avenue, then east on Clark Street and south on Sherman Avenue to return to Church.

CTA Purple Line service is being provided by shuttle buses. The rail line is expected to be back in operation in time for Monday morning's rush hour.

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