Project To Separate Rail Crossing From Road At 130th And Torrence

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — A $150 million dollar publicly and privately funded construction project on the far Southeast Side will lower roads and raise bridges to improve commerce.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the project will make major changes at the intersection of 130th Street and Torrence Avenue, where trains trucks and cars all share the same grade.

The project included plans to lower the streets and build two new train bridges for the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

“This crossing that we’re doing here today has 32,000 vehicles a day, 24 freight trains,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “That’s a lot of hours of delay.”

State officials estimated the 32,000 vehicles that use the crossing each day are delayed a combined total of 200 hours daily.

“For 18 years that I’ve represented this community, I’ve been hearing about this,” State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) said.

The intersection is right outside the Ford plant, creating problems for Ford employees and suppliers.

Ford spokeswoman Mary Culler said the project will have a significant impact.

“We have a lot of employees who get stuck at the railroad crossing now, they can’t really get into the plant easily. We have suppliers who are trying to get logistics here,” she said. “If the train stops then it really does make it difficult for us to continue to make our products on time.”

Jim Sweeney, business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 said the project would make the trains more efficient as well.

“Trains coming from the west coast trying to get to the east coast take 24 to 48 hours to get through this area,” he said.

The project will be funded by $64.8 million from the state’s capital construction program, according to the governor’s office. The remaining funding will come from the federal government, the city, Norfolk Southern Railroad, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and Ford.

The project is expected to create more than 1,200 jobs and is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

  • Wolf

    The state is broke and we now plan to spend hundreds of millions on this…insanity never stops in this public sector operation …we should be handling regular maintenance and not initiate more public sector projects when the treasury is bankrupt…is there not one competent person in the entire public sector…

  • haha

    Try going that way sometime dude. It is needed because you are sitting almost 30 minutes for one of those trains due to switching cars and the South Shore trains.


    This intersection has been the way it is now for close to 80 years and the cars and trucks still get through,the trains still run,and the Ford plant is still open.You must realize it’s pay back time for all the union contributions to the Demo dumbos that keep them in office year after year.It’s your money they are spending to payback the unions for all the Democrat political contributions.Add this 4 year project to the soon to come new multi year toll road project,and the just finished multi year toll road and Borman projects and you can see how the well greased wheel just keeps going around,and around,and around. Everyone is going broke and bankrupt except the politicians and the unions.

  • Joe Patroni

    Transportation is what defines Chicago. If we don’t invest and remain competitive, we will loose out to China and wherever else. Our grandparents gave us terrific universities, and Interstate system, parks, etc. What are we going to give our grandkids? A degraded. pollouted country with the wealthy living in their nice gated communities and the bottom 95% of us living in a Soylent Green?

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