Torrence Avenue bridge work ends early, opens to drivers
Commuters between Burnham and Chicago’s Southeast Side can again travel over Torrence Avenue after the early completion of the reconstructed bridge over the Grand Calumet River, according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
“After more than two years of construction, completing this project early brings much-needed relief to commuters, residents and businesses that rely on Torrence Avenue,” IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said, according to the release. “This new bridge is safer and will meet the region’s needs for years to come by adding a critical piece to the state’s multimodal transportation system.”
The original bridge, built in 1938, was demolished after closing in May 2015 due to structural deterioration. Construction on the new bridge, a $10 million project, finished three months early and is expected to benefit the area economy through increased mobility and transportation. The new bridge is wider than the original and features a sidewalk, street lighting, landscaping and improved drainage.
“The new Torrence Avenue bridge is a welcome sight with benefits that will be felt immediately,” Burnham Mayor Robert Polk said in the release. “The project improves the quality of life for Burnham and makes our community a more attractive location to do business.”