Metra opens new station building, will consider request for new stop

Several other stations to benefit from Illinois budget's infrastructure plan
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Metra has opened its new station at Prairie Crossing on the Milwaukee North line, shown in April before the completion of landscaping.
TRAINS: David Lassen
The new Illinois budget includes more than $1 million for new pedestrian walkways at the Hanover Park Metra station on the Milwaukee West line.
TRAINS: David Lassen

CHICAGO — Metra opened a new station building last week, will receive a study on a potential new stop this week, and will see some other locations benefit from Illinois’ new infrastructure plan.

The new structure is at Prairie Crossing in Libertyville, Ill., where a new permanent facility replaced a long-used “temporary” structure. The 480-square-foot warming house opened with ceremonies on May 30 featuring Metra and Lake County officials, as well as U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider. The $1.2 million project also included new sidewalks, signage, landscaping, and related features.

Meanwhile, the village of Niles, Ill., has accepted a feasibility study for a new station on the Milwaukee North line and is forwarding the proposal to Metra.

The new stop, between Touhy Avenue and Howard Street, would be between the line’s existing Morton Grove and Edgebrook stations, the Niles Herald-Spectator reports. The village would pay the $31 million to build the station and parking lot. A village official said the study showed the station would be among the top 20% in Metra ridership and could generate $2.5 million in fare revenue.

Metra is currently developing a draft policy to set procedures for adding new stations, as well as assessing the future of underperforming stops [see “New Metra plan would assess station use,” Trains News Wire, March 28, 2019].

Finally, six Metra stations received specific attention in the infrastructure plan passed as part of the Illinois budget on May 31, receiving funding from $80,000 to more than $1 million.

The biggest ticket among these items is $1.05 million for pedestrian crossings at the Hanover Park station on the Milwaukee West line. Waukegan on the Union Pacific North received $500,000 for station improvements, while the Auburn Gresham Development Corp. received $500,000 for “costs associated with infrastructure and the development of [a] Metra Station at 79th Street.”  Two stations on the Milwaukee West, Franklin Park ($195,541) and Roselle ($81,000) received funding for parking lot expansion or improvements.

Robbins, a flag stop on the Rock Island, was budgeted not once but twice for $80,000: once for “costs associated with the PACE-Metra connection” and once for “costs associated with PACE [bus] and Metra station improvements.” It was not immediately clear if these were two separate projects or if the same item might have been included twice.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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