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Repairs To CTA Yellow Line To Take "Several Weeks"

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Travel to and from Skokie by CTA won't be Swift for a while.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) said Tuesday that it will take "several weeks to complete this (repair) work properly."

MWRD spokesperson Allison Fore said that first, contractors must stabilize the area and rebuild the embankment that crumbled Sunday night immediately west of the McCormick Boulevard high bridge on the Yellow Line. Then the engineering team and the contractor working for MWRD must take borings and work on a long-term solution and schedule.

"Our highest priority is to return the CTA Yellow Line back to service. That being said, it is extremely important that the work proceeds in a manner that ensures the safety and integrity of the track system," she said.

If this sounds involved, it is. Fore said MWRD should have "a better idea of the long-term schedule" by week's end.

CTA spokesperson Katherine Hosinski said that free shuttle buses will continue to operate, during normal Skokie Swift hours, making stops at Dempster-Skokie, Oakton-Skokie and Howard, in addition to the 97/Skokie bus, which will continue to make all local stops.

Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said two express buses that normally service the Dempster-Skokie Swift terminal, the 626/Skokie Valley Limited and 620/Yellow Line Dempster-Allstate (Northbrook), will continue to run to Dempster to connect with the CTA shuttles. Some riders had asked if the buses could run through to Howard or to the Purple Line Linden terminal, in Wilmette, but Wilmot said dong so would create scheduling problems.

The operators of Yellow Line trains noticed a bent rail and problems with trackside power lines in the hour before the embankment crumbled. The embankment fell completely away from the inbound track, leaving it suspended in mid-air with no support for a couple of car lengths.

CTA operates over the tracks in question by an easement negotiated with the MWRD's predecessor, the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago. A disinfection facility was under construction at the MWRD O'Brien Water Reclamation Plant, adjacent to the tracks.

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