Lake View commuters to the Loop will have a tough time come March and April. The Chicago Transit Authority announced Monday it will suspend Brown Line trains over the Chicago River for two, 9-day periods.
The overflow of riders could put extra strain on the Red Line during rush hour.
"CTA strongly encourages its customers to plan ahead for longer commutes by leaving earlier, changing travel patterns or consider alternative service,” CTA officials said in a statement. “During these periods, CTA train service will be significantly impacted, including reduced capacity on the Red and Brown lines during the rush period."
Officials say the closure is necessary to reconstruct the 90-year-old Wells Street Bridge. Both the tracks and ties on the bridge will be repaired, impacting nearly 700 trains a day, according to Crain's Chicago Business.
One of every three Brown Line trains will stop at Merchandise Mart, with the others using the Red Line tunnel and ending at the Roosevelt station, officials said.
The closures will be from March 1 until March 10 and April 26 until May 5. During those times, the CTA said they’d implement extra busing and alternative routes.
Service changes include:
-Brown Line trains will only run between Kimball and Merchandise Mart during rush periods with “substantially reduced frequency.” Outside of rush hour, Brown Line trains will run every 10 to 12 minutes between those stops.
-Some Brown Line trains going toward the Loop will be rerouted into the Red Line subway after Fullerton during rush hour. The destination signs on these trains will read "Roosevelt" on a red background to differentiate them from trains operating to Merchandise Mart.
-Some Brown Line trains to Kimball, during rush periods, will originate from Roosevelt on the Red Line Subway, making all normal Red Line stops through Fullerton, where they will continue making all Brown Line stops to Kimball.
-The No. 22 Clark Bus, No. 146 Michigan Express and No. 147 Outer Drive Express will have extra service.
-A free bus shuttle will run at all hours of the Brown Line service between the Chicago station and the Loop.