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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday announced the state will provide $21.5 million for the construction of a new 79th Street Metra station on the Rock Island District Line in Chicago's Auburn Park-Gresham neighborhood.The new Auburn Park Station at 79th Street is designed to increase transit accessibility and commuter ridership for the neighborhood, and help reduce congestion on the nearby Dan Ryan Expressway. The project will include two eight-car asphalt platforms, platform lighting, elevator access to the platforms, heated stairs and ramps, sheltered passenger warming facilities on both platforms, and two stair and elevator operation towers, according to a press release issued by Quinn's office.The project also will include track improvements, retaining wall and viaduct improvements, visual information and station signs, an entry plaza with landscaping, bicycle parking and a vehicle parking lot. Construction is expected to begin in 2016."We need to ensure residents and visitors on the South Side of Chicago have every opportunity to ride the Metra," Quinn said. "The project will also improve our transportation infrastructure, reduce congestion on our highways and create jobs."The station funding is part of Illinois Jobs Now, the state's $31 billion capital infrastructure program.
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