Chicago Metra launches $332 million construction plan

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Chicago Metra has announced plans for several major construction projects this year, including the replacement of ageing bridges on the UP North Line, track, electrical and signal upgrades on the Metra Electric line.

Planned spending also includes minor infrastructure improvements on all 11 lines.

“We plan to take full advantage of the construction season to address projects big and small across the railroad,” said Metra CEO Jim Derwinski. “Thanks to our leaders in Washington and Springfield, Metra has received significant financial support in recent years to help us begin to address a backlog of critical capital projects that will benefit our riders for years to come.”

More than $332 million has been allocated for construction projects this year, including $81.6 million for station and parking improvements; $22 million for track maintenance; $140.7 million for bridge projects; $6.4 million for rail crossing replacements; and $66.2 million for signal electrical and communications maintenance and upgrades.

Improvements are planned for 35 stations this year. Along the Metra Electric Line, a multi-year effort continues to rebuild stations and improve accessibility, with major projects underway or slated to planned at 79th, 87th, 95th, 103rd and 147th St.’s, as well as Homewood and Harvey.

Platform replacements are scheduled at Wood Dale on the Milwaukee West Line, Vermont Street on the Rock Island Line, Cary and Crystal Lake on the UP Northwest Line and Kedzie on the UP West Line. Work will also continue on the replacement of the platforms and station facilities at Grayland on the Milwaukee District North Line.  The new Peterson/Ridge Station on the UP North Line will open this spring and work will continue at the new Auburn Park Station on the Rock Island Line.

Stations at 107th and 115th St. stations on the Rock Island Line’s Beverly Branch and LaGrange Road on the BNSF Line are scheduled for rehab work.

Metra is also planning to work on 35 road crossings systemwide and replace about 129,000 crossties this year in 2024.

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