New Torrence Avenue Bridge On South Side Completed Ahead Of Schedule

CHICAGO (CBS) — A rebuilt Torrence Avenue bridge is now open to traffic, three months ahead of schedule.

Local residents attended an opening ceremony, 15 months after the implosion of the old steel bridge, cheering as it was announced the modern concrete replacement was open.

The original bridge, built in the 1930s, was closed in May 2015 after a routine inspection revealed that the structural steel had deteriorated.

The bridge spans the Grand Calumet River connecting Burnham to Chicago just south of the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant.

Sandra Hill said it’s been an inconvenient two years.

“I’m so glad its open,” she said. “Hooray! It’s about time.”

Burnham Mayor Robert Polk says its been tough on businesses, who have complanind about losing money.

“I’m glad the pressure’s off of me because people have been beating me up about this bridge.”

Hill said there was no convenient way around the closed bridge.

Kids going to school were often late, traffic was a nightmare and, invariably, people taking the detour would end up stuck behind a freight train.

IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said the $10 million project was completed three months ahead of schedule.

More from Mike Krauser

Watch & Listen LIVE