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Grade Separations

GS15a

130th & Torrence & Norfolk Southern Grade Separation

Topline Community Benefits

Safer roadway conditions and upgraded infrastructure and design features.

More reliable roadway conditions and reduced vehicle delay, benefitting emergency services.

The grade separation and realignment of the roadways is also expected to attract other industries to relocate to the Calumet area.

 

Project Funding Needs

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Fully funded and complete

Project Location Map

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Municipality

Chicago

Project Area

North Limit E 130th St.
South Limit 132nd St.
East Limit S Saginaw Ave.
West Limit S Torrence Ave.

Project Overview & Impact

This project eliminated the at-grade crossings of the two Norfolk Southern main tracks with 130th Street and Torrence Ave. This was accomplished by lowering the profile of 130th Street and Torrence Ave. to fit under two new bridges that carry the Norfolk Southern tracks. Brainard Ave. was also lowered and directly connected to 130th Street at Torrence Ave to improve highway traffic flow. An existing bridge carrying two NICTD South Shore Line commuter rail tracks over the NS tracks and Torrence Ave. was re-built on a new alignment immediately south of the old structure. Components of the improvement included: lowering and realigning roadways, building three new railroad bridges (two for NS and one for NICTD); building one new roadway bridge; building two pedestrian bridges; relocating railroad tracks; installing a new drainage system for the road with new pump station; lighting, traffic signals, and a new path along 130th Street for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Daily, 27,400 vehicles pass through the new grade separation. Additionally, Pace route 358 with 37 daily buses crosses the area. Prior to the completion of the grade separation, total daily vehicle delay was estimated at more than 240 hours. The grade separation eliminated delays for vehicles at this crossing as well as the potential of vehicle-train crashes.

 

130th

Project Benefits

The 130th/Torrence and Norfolk Southern Grade Separation delivers substantial time saving, safety improvements, and mobility gains for the local community and freight rail operators.  The grade crosing separation enables greater accessibility and safety in the area. Prior to the project, major manufacturing operations interrupted resident and commuter mobility. This location is also designated as a “911 Critical Crossing,” which is a critical location for emergency services to access communities that have a high frequency of train movements or delays. The grade separation eliminated this issue.

Nearby Chicago, IL Community Areas: Hegewisch and South Deering

A Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant is located within the northwest quadrant of the 130th Street and Torrence Avenue intersection. The grade separation is located next to the Ford New Car Shipping Center and the separation was a critical improvement needed in order to attract and retain this employer. All new cars must be driven from the assembly plant to the Shipping Center across the grade separation. Previously, freight trains could block the road into the facility for up to 20 minutes. When a freight train obstructed the road, two aspects of Ford’s operations were affected: 1) Employees could not enter the employee parking lot, and to access another entrance they needed to drive a 10-mile loop; 2) Finished cars driven off the assembly line were delayed in their arrival to Ford’s nearby Shipping Yard where they are driven onto rail cars or trucks to be shipped throughout the U.S and the world. This grade separation eliminated these issues and supported the approximately 4,000 jobs at that site. The grade separation and realignment of the roadways is also expected to attract other industries to relocate to the Calumet area.

Over 50 freight trains benefit from reduced idling.

Rail infrastructure improvements benefit the whole rail system.

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Project Status

Phase I Completed
Phase II Completed
Phase III Completed

Project Status Definitions:
– Phase I: Environmental & Preliminary Engineering
– Phase II: Final Design (Plans, Specifications & Estimates)
– Phase III: Construction

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