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Wells Street Bridge Reopens After Yearlong Rebuild

Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses the reopening of the Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River, after a yearlong $50 million reconstruction project. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses the reopening of the Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River, after a yearlong $50 million reconstruction project. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The historic Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River reopened to cars, bikes, and pedestrians on Thursday; a year after it was closed for a complete overhaul.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports the bridge remained open to CTA trains over the past year – except two 9-day stretches in the spring when trains were rerouted to allow crews to replace the two spans of the 91-year-old bridge.

The bridge was closed last December to replace trusses and steel framing, and replace its structural components, and mechanical and electrical systems.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein walked across the bridge before dawn Thursday to mark the reopening of the span.

The mayor said the $50 million project was completed ahead of schedule, and on budget.

“I want to thank all the commuters for their patience, and who have been waiting for months for this day, but the good news is this is ahead of schedule. It was supposed to open up December 1st,” he said.

The project rebuilt the bridge’s historic railings, bridge houses, and other major structural sections, in order to maintain the 1920s look of the span.