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April 11, 2017

Metra to invest $216m in new rail projects this year

US-based commuter railroad Metra and its partners have announced plans to invest $216m in new projects this year.

US-based commuter railroad Metra and its partners have announced plans to invest $216m in new projects this year.

The projects will involve the replacement of aging bridges on the UP North and Milwaukee West lines, in addition to construction of new track segments on the UP West Line.

Metra executive director and CEO Don Orseno said: “We plan to take full advantage of the construction season by making improvements where we can with our limited funding.

“Our goal is to be as efficient as possible with the resources we have and limit the impact of construction activity on our customers.”

Metra has planned improvements for 29 of its 241 stations this year, including five stations along the BNSF Line to Aurora.

Stairwells at the Harlem Avenue Station and the platform at the Western Springs Station are among the facilities scheduled for refurbishment under the initiative.

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The village of Riverside received a $600,000 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Programme (ITEP) grant for work, which will involve restoration of the aged clay tile roof on the Riverside Station.

The pedestrian crossing at the Clarendon Hills Station will be resurfaced this year, and air conditioning would be installed in the station building at Lisle, in addition to a new ventilation system in the pedestrian tunnel.

"We plan to take full advantage of the construction season by making improvements where we can with our limited funding."

Construction is also set to start on a new station in Romeoville on the Heritage Corridor Line.

The McCormick Place Station will receive upgrades to the platform, waiting areas, signage and lighting along the Metra Electric Line.

Work will also include completion of rehabilitation and repair work at the Kensington / 115th Street, West Pullman and Millennium stations.

Construction will begin on a $1.2m project to add a 68-space parking lot at the Grayland Station on the Milwaukee North Line, as well as a $7.3m project to replace and upgrade the Healy Station.

The outbound platform on the UP North Line will be replaced at Kenilworth Station, while flooring will be replaced at the Glencoe Station. The Winfield Station will also undergo platform repair work.

Metra and its railroad partners also plan to replace about 57,000 railroad ties this year as part of a scheme of track improvement projects.

Improvements will be carried out for 21 bridges across the Metra system, and will include projects on the BNSF, Milwaukee West, Rock Island, UP North and UP Northwest lines.

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