Wells Street bridge to close next Monday, November 5, with bike detour on Clark Street


Clark Street now has bridge plates for bicycling and is part of CDOT’s recommended detour for bicyclists who travel south on Wells Street to south of the Chicago River. Photo taken October 30, 2012. 

The Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) jointly announced in a press release today the yearlong closure of the Wells Street bridge. The press release detailed the two, short duration closures in the spring of the CTA Purple and Brown Lines to repair Tower 18. CDOT published an accompanying map of the detours that will go in place which include a route for bicyclists to travel south on Clark Street where new bridge plates have been installed. According to Alderman Brendan Reilly’s newsletter, the project completion date is no later than December 1, 2013.


Photo of poor quality pavement taken September 4, 2012. 

Grid Chicago has contacted CDOT to ask that the potholes, cracks, and uneven pavement on Clark Street in the right-most lane before the bridge be repaired. Dan Burke, deputy commissioner of the division of engineering at CDOT said over the phone they would send paving crews to the spot within a week.

View this rapidly created Google Maps of the Wells Street detour in a larger screen. The thick blue line represents the recommended detour for bicyclists; LaSalle Street is another option but lacks bridge plates (about half of the bridge has a concrete deck). It was adapted from a CDOT-issued map (.pdf).

Updated October 31 to include the information about potholes and completion date. 

11 thoughts on “Wells Street bridge to close next Monday, November 5, with bike detour on Clark Street”

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Steven. Very useful information that I will disseminate to fellow loop-commuters. Also, good looking-out GridChicago on the potholes… if Clark is to adequately detour a reasonably safe Wells route, the potholes ought be addressed.

  2. I rode over Clark today and didn’t even notice these. I think the problem is that I am so accustomed to taking the right lane (or riding on the left part of it) due to the constant right-turn traffic at Wacker. They need to mark those plates with bike symbols, or install posts, to clue the drivers in. I’m skeptical that most drivers will stay out of them like in the picture.

  3. I was hoping the Dearborn Street cycle track would have been completed by now. That would have made a great detour around the Wells bridge. Any word on when that is slated to begin?

  4. Nice, but they’re on the wrong side of the bridge. The plates should have been put on the EAST side of the bridge so as not to cause cyclists to compete with CTA buses. Most cyclists seem to ride on the east side of Clark, south of Grand Avenue.

    Of course, anyone at CDOT who would have taken 2 hours and studied cyclist commuter traffic in the morning on Clark Street would know this. Again, fend for yourselves…they don’t care about us.

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