Platform rebuilds and more: What projects Metra plans to tackle this summer
With more than 200,000 new rail ties to be installed, 24 crossing rebuilds, 12 platform replacements and two new stations, Metra riders can expect a busy construction season.
The agency's $504.6 million capital budget for 2023 includes multiple projects scheduled across the region, officials said, noting much of the work will occur at off-peak hours and during weekends.
One major chunk of the pie, $119.5 million, goes to rehabilitating stations including the LaGrange Road station on the BNSF Line, which dates back to the 1920s, and the Kenilworth station on the Union Pacific West Line, which is 132 years old.
"Clean, modern and accessible facilities are an integral part of a good customer experience and create a welcoming gateway to a community," Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement.
Metra is also building two new stations in Chicago: Peterson Ridge on the UP North Line that opens later this year and Auburn Park on the Rock Island Line set to debut in 2024.
Here's a look at other highlights:
• Continued construction of a third track between West Chicago and Geneva on the UP West Line.
• Platform rebuilds including Grayslake on the Milwaukee District North Line, and Wood Dale and Big Timber in Elgin on the Milwaukee District West Line.
• Crossing replacements including locations at: Hart Road at Round Lake on the Milwaukee District North Line; Prospect Avenue in Itasca and Rodenburg Road in Roselle on the Milwaukee District West Line; Main/Cook Street in Barrington and Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines on the UP Northwest Line; Villa Avenue in Villa Park and Poplar Avenue in Elmhurst on the UP West Line; Cass Avenue in Westmont and Monroe Street in Hinsdale on the BNSF Line.
• Rail tie replacements on the Metra Electric, Rock Island, UP North and Northwest lines.
With some projects, such as placing rail ties where crews are often on the tracks, trains will operate at slower speeds, which could affect trips by 10 to 15 minutes. For information, go to metra.com.