The decaying, century-old concrete viaduct that carries the CTA Purple Line tracks over Church Street in downtown Evanston is scheduled to be replaced this weekend.

That means Purple Line trains will be out of service from 8:30 p.m. Friday through 1:30 a.m. Monday. A shuttle bus will make make stops at or near all the stations to provide substitute service.

CTA buses that normally board passengers on Benson Avenue in front of the Davis El station will board instead on Davis Street just west of Benson.

City Public Works Director David Jennings says that after crews demolish the old viaduct, they’ll roll in a new steel one that they’ve been assembling on Benson Avenue just north of Church for the past several weeks.

All the action will require closing Benson Avenue from Clark Street south to Davis starting at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Church Street will be closed from just east of the Metra viaduct to Sherman Avenue. Church Street traffic will be rerouted via Maple, Clark and Sherman.

Parking will be restricted in much of the area throughout the weekend. Alternate parking will be available in the Sherman Plaza Garage using the entrance from Davis Street.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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