CHICAGO | Construction workers slid a 2,350-ton blue truss bridge into place on Saturday over Torrence Avenue in Hegewisch, which will soon replace one of the oldest bridges on the South Shore line.
The huge hunk of metal, fabricated on-site, is part of a mammoth public works project designed to speed access to the Ford Motor Co. plant to the north, according to John Parsons, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District planning and marketing director.
The South Shore line benefits from the huge project, getting a new bridge to replace one that dates to the beginning of the South Shore line in the early part of the 20th century.
The old bridge crosses Torrence just north of where the new bridge was put in place Saturday. The South Shore tracks will have to be shifted south to run across the new bridge.
NICTD is contributing about $2.4 million in federal grant money toward the project, which is less than its total cost, Parsons said.
The Chicago Department of Transportation public works project also includes doing away with the at-grade crossings where Torrence and 130th Street cross the Norfolk Southern freight tracks, resulting in frequent long waits for drivers. Both roads will be reconstructed to run under the tracks.