130th & Torrence & Norfolk Southern Grade Separation
|E 130th St.
|S Saginaw Ave.
|S Torrence Ave.
52 Freight Trains
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.
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.
This location is designated 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.
Scope of Work
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 also 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.
Project Location Map
Project outlines and locations shown above are approximations and do not necessarily represent final design and construction limits.