Work is scheduled to resume in just over a week on the CTA viaduct replacement projects in Evanston — with the closure of Dempster Street.

Dempster will be closed at Sherman Place from March 15 through March 18 to install pilings that the new bridge will rest on.

New viaducts are also planned for Grove and Greenleaf streets.

The $10 million project will replace the decaying century-old viaducts with new steel spans over the spring and early summer.

City officials say the new viaducts will be more visually appealing, changing the flow of customers to businesses on both sides of the viaducts, creating greater opportunities for economic development.

The viaducts’ footprints will be smaller, allowing for better sight lines for pedestrians and drivers, increasing safety for both. And the trains along the Purple Line will be able to run a bit faster.

Except for the closure on Dempster this month, traffic flow will generally be maintained through the viaducts on Greenleaf and Dempster  during the project. Only westbound traffic will be allowed on Grove.

However, each site will be closed to traffic for one weekend when the new bridges are rolled into place. Train traffic on the Purple Line will also be disrupted those weekends, most likely in late May or June.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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