Adams Street Bridge will be closed to traffic for over a year starting Monday

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - One of the busiest West Loop bridges will be closed for reconstruction for over a year starting Monday, and commuters are being urged to plan ahead.

Starting after the evening rush on Monday, Jan. 25, the roadway on the Adams Street Bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River will be closed for reconstruction for an estimated 13 months, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The structure is one of the city’s bascule bridges, which raise and lower to allow for boat traffic. CDOT has “rebuilt or substantially repaired most of the other bascule bridges over the past ten years. This work allows for restoration of their function and extension of their usable life,” a statement from the department said.

Pedestrian access over the bridge to Union Station will remain open except for two month-long closures later this year and intermittent overnight and weekend closures, CDOT said.

“The walkway across the Adams Street Bridge has one of the highest pedestrian daily traffic counts of any of the locations tracked by CDOT,” the department said.

During the estimated 13-month closure, work will include “reconstruction of the existing viaduct structure over the Union Station tracks, improvements to the Adams Street and Canal Street intersection, new street lighting and traffic signals, improved roadway drainage, and structural and electrical improvements to the bridge,” according to CDOT.

Westbound vehicular and bicycle traffic will be detoured to Wacker, and motorists can go south to Van Buren or north to Madison to continue across the river. Once over the river, they can use Jefferson or Clinton to return to Adams Street.

Two new pick-up/drop-off areas for Union Station passengers will be set up on the curb of Jackson between Canal and Clinton, and the curb of Adams between Canal and Clinton.

The bridge closure will also affect seven CTA bus routes downtown, also beginning Monday. Reroutes will be necessary in the immediate area and there will be temporary relocation, removal and/or addition of bus stops along the affected routes.

Most of those affected routes will be detoured from Adams to Van Buren via Wacker. Customers boarding and leaving buses near Union Station will also be affected. The CTA plans to notify customers of the changes with notices both at bus stops and on its website, transitchicago.com.

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