On Monday, September 12, The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will begin reconstructing the historic Torrence Avenue bridge over the Calumet River.
Work on the vertical-lift bridge, which sits just north of 126th Street, will close Torrence to through traffic from 122nd to 126th Streets.
Built in 1938, the Torrence bridge is the only city-owned vertical-lift bridge—so named because the bridge’s center section lifts straight up to allow ships to pass beneath. Serving heavy commercial ship traffic on the Calumet River, the bridge raises and lowers more than 100 times a month.
After more than seven decades of use, the aging structure requires a complete restoration that will significantly benefit motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The project will rehabilitate the roadway bridge, the steel structure, and all mechanical and electrical systems, and paint the structure.
The bridge work will occur with the structure in the raised position, about 120 feet in the air, to facilitate worker access to the structure.
“Investment in infrastructure like this bridge is important to keep our ground-transportation network as safe and efficient as possible,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein.
Car and bike traffic detour
Northbound: east on 126th, north on Avenue O, west on 106th, back to Torrence.
Southbound: east on 106th, south on Avenue O, west on 126th, back to Torrence.
Truck traffic detours
Northbound: west on 130th, north on Doty, east on 103rd, back to Torrence
Southbound: west on 103rd, south on Doty (east of Bishop Ford Expy), east on 130th, back to Torrence.
Construction cost is $24.1 million, funded through federal and state sources. Work is scheduled to continue through fall 2012.