The Wells Street Bridge is the Navin R. Johnson of the Chicago River bridges — Shiny, new, and much paler than its brothers. Unlike Navin, however, Wells isn’t doomed to stay that color.
The new Wells Street Bridge, all million pounds of it, is now in place and being re-woven into the fabric of Chicago’s transportation system. CTA Brown and Purple Line trains are moving freely over its upper deck, and the outrigger pedestrian walkways on the lower deck are about half done.
It’s hard to see how the road surface is coming along, though, since the lower bridge deck is mostly covered in construction equipment. That should end in the next few months, as CDOT is sticking to its goal of having the new bridge open to all modes of transportation by the end of November.
And while the packing peanuts and new bridge smell are gone, the grey primer paint remains. Not to worry, though — the Chicago Department of Transportation does plan to paint the new bridge maroon to match the city’s other historic bridges.