On Monday, Nov. 5, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close the Wells Street bridge over the Chicago River for a year for a major reconstruction project. How will this impact you?
Kinzie Street and Wells are two of the busiest bike commuting routes in the city, and many people biking into the Loop on these streets use the Wells Street bridge. Since navigating downtown streets by bike can already be intimidating for many people, a good detour is vitally important.
The detour for biking will be east on Kinzie Street, turning south onto Clark Street to cross the Chicago River. CDOT has installed bridge plates on the Clark Street bridge to make the crossing safer for biking. Cars and buses will be routed off of Wells further north, which should make the left turn onto Kinzie easier for people biking. CDOT has mapped out their detours for driving, biking and transit (view PDF map here).
We're also still awaiting construction on the protected bike lane on Dearborn Street later this year, which will provide a great alternative to Wells once it's completed.
People walking will also not be able to cross the river at Wells, and will be routed to the LaSalle Street and Clark Street bridges.
CTA trains will continue to run on the bridge, except for two nine-day service interruptions in the spring. CTA will provide alternative bus and rail service during those times.