Chicago Sun-Times

October 2008 Archives

The Chicago Avenue bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River will remain closed to vehicle traffic through Friday, Nov. 7. The bridge was damaged after it was struck by a passing barge Tuesday afternoon, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

A barge pushed by a commercial tugboat struck the bridge around 4 p.m. Tuesday. The barge made contact with the underside of the bridge structure, damaging some of the steel. The barge suffered minor damage.

New steel needed to be fabricated for the damaged bridge. CDOT crews will begin installation today, according to Brian Steele, spokesman for CDOT. Several sections need to be replaced.

CDOT engineers and inspectors surveyed the bridge and determined that, as a safety precaution, the bridge should remain closed while crews perform repair work.

During the closure, traffic will be detoured at Halsted and Larrabee. Detour routes include Division Street and Grand Avenue.

The Chicago Avenue bridge is a Chicago-style trunnion bascule bridge originally constructed in 1914.

CTA public meeting

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On Wednesday night, over 100 people showed up at CTA headquarters to discuss the transit agency's proposed fare hikes. Many speakers protested the hikes as unfair in these harsh economic times. Said Brian Zeid of Rogers Park: "It's a hard situation -- a 20 percent increase. If we'd all see 20 percent increases at our jobs, we'd be in great shape." Several speakers objected to the elimination of the bonus for using the Chicago Card.

The Civic Federation's Lawrence Msall offered his support for the CTA's "fiscally responsible" 2009 spending plan. The federation, a non-partisan research group, noted that the CTA faces a $42.2 million deficit as a result of higher fuel costs, lower tax revenues and Gov. Rod Blagojevich's "ill-considered" senior free ride program. The federation supports the proposed 25 cent and 50 cent bus and rail fare increases as a "necessary and appropriate way" to offset rising costs. Msall also praised the CTA's decision not to cut service, and expressed concern about the ongoing lack of state capital funding.

The CTA board will vote on the plan Nov. 12

Last week's "Ride" trivia question was: What do Ziegfield Court, Walden Parkway and Beethoven Place have in common? The answer I printed was that they are all Chicago streetways that no longer exist. But as a few Beverly residents pointed out -- there is still a Walden. Part of it was changed to S. Wolcott Street, but a part in Beverly still remains. My apologies.

CTA Weekend Work

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Now that the Chicago Marathon has been run, weekend CTA construction is back. This weekend, CTA Blue Line service between Irving Park and Belmont is temporarily suspended for slow zone work between 9 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Monday. Bus shuttles will carry passengers between the Belmont, Addison and Irving Park stations. Leave extra time!

And by the way -- you can sign up for e-mail alerts on construction work direct from the CTA by going to its Web site.

Loop L Night Work

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The CTA is doing construction work this week on the Loop L tracks this week, which means reroutes for Brown, Orange, Pink and Green Line trains around the Loop.


CTA will temporarily reroute trains in the Loop on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights this week, starting at 10 p.m. There will be no weekend reroutes due to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday.

Work is concentrated on the Lake and Wabash parts of the tracks. See this CTA announcement for more details.

This Monday's question is: What movie character said that the most exciting sounds in the world are "anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles." We asked you to name the character and the movie.

The answer is George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life."

We had many correct answers, but the first player with the correct answer was Julie Miklos. If she can e-mail me her address, I can send her out her T-shirt. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for playing.

A couple of people guessed "Uncle Billy." Uncle Billy is in the scene, but the dialogue goes like this, as the two wait for a train;

George: Thar she blows. You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?
Uncle Billy:: Uh-huh. Breakfast is served; lunch is served; dinner . . .
George: No, no, no, no! Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.

I agree with both characters!

The Guardian Angels have been posting videos of their arrests on You Tube. See last month's "Ride" story here. Here's the latest video -- in which the Angels helped police nab a suspect who allegedly had a gun. The beginning of the video has a lot of running with the camera, so it may make you dizzy. But it provides some insight into how the volunteer citizen patrol group does their stuff.

If you're heading to Wrigleyville this weekend to do whatever it is you plan to do (watch TV in the bars, drink in the bars, cry in the bars), don't count on the Blue Line being a handy way to get to the Addison bus. The Belmont, Addison and Irving Park stations will all be closed over the weekend, so you'll have to take shuttles. This is to allow for track work.

Also, on the Red Line, the Thorndale, Berwyn and Lawrence stations will be temporarily closed for the weekend, from 1 a.m. Saturday until 4 a.m. Monday.

If you're heading for the Sox game Sunday or, if needed, Monday, the Green Line will operate longer trains to accommodate more passengers. Fans can walk to to the ballpark or take the #35 buses. The Red Line, which is even closer to U.S. Cellular Field, will operate more frequent service and longer trains. Allow extra travel time due to construction at the Belmont and Fullerton stations on the Red Line. And remember that if you're connecting through the Loop, the CTA is performing construction on the Loop elevated tracks.

Texting and Driving

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I'll be on Joel Weisman's Chicago Week in Review on Channel 11 at 7 p.m. tonight talking transportation -- including the Midway deal and the proposed text messaging ban. What do you think of the ban? You could argue it's like legislating common sense. If you're stupid enough to text while driving -- is a law really going to stop you?

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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