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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Metra kicks off 2016 construction program


Metra and its railroad partners yesterday announced the agency's 2016 construction program, which calls for a host of infrastructure improvements to stations, track, bridges and grade crossings.

Photo: Metra

As part of the program, the Chicago-area commuter railroad will perform improvements at 27 stations this year, including a $5.5 million full renovation of the Calumet Station. Work on this station involves building a new elevator and replacing stairs at both ends of the station, Metra officials said in a press release.

The agency also plans to carry out a $150,000 "facelift" of the 111th Street/Pullman Station. That project calls for replacing or repairing most wooden components — such as the platform, stairs and warming house — along with painting and other cosmetic improvements.

In addition, Metra and its partner railroads will replace more than 120,000 ties this year as part of its track improvements. The agency will update 24 crossings systemwide, as well.

Metro also plans to begin a $5.5 million project to upgrade an electrical facility in Riverdale, Ill., used to supply power along the Metra Electric Line. The project will go to bid in May.

"Now that spring is here, we plan to take full advantage of the construction season by making improvements where we can with our limited funding," said Metra Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Don Orseno.

This week, Metra plans to kick off construction for the overall program, which will continue through the fall. The cost of the plan was estimated at $200 million, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The agency has posted a map of all construction projects here.