It’s not as colorful as the mural nearby, but the railroad bridge over Davis Street downtown now has a fresh coat of paint, and work has begun to repaint the train bridge at Dempster Street as well.

Both bridges carry the Metra/Union Pacific North line commuter line tracks from Chicago to Kenosha.

Metra is covering the nearly $475,000 repainting cost.

The work was long awaited, to turn the rusting eyesores into something more attractive.

Train traffic continued while painting was being finished. (Davis Street, Oct. 11).

However, the same supply chain problems which have impacted so many other things also led to delays.

You can’t just slap a coat of paint on an aging bridge and say you’re finished.

Meg Thomas-Reile, public relations manager for Metra, tells Evanston Now that the special paint required here had certain components as well as protective coating which were not immediately available.

Plus, all of the rust had to be removed first, and then, Thomas-Reile says, needed to be “tested before it was disposed of.”

The prep process actually may have taken as much time as the painting itself.

Work at Davis Street began on Sept. 19, with the painting (resembling a plain brown wrapper) finishing in late October.

Work has begun at the Dempster Street railroad bridge, with short-term lane restrictions.

Prep work at Dempster is now under way, with completion expected in about a month.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  1. The businesses at dempster directly west of Chicago avenue have seen a significantly reduced amount of traffic because of the road closure so please do stop by during this time as they need our support.

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