Metra 2020 construction programme was launched with investment projects which include infrastructure improvement and maintenance works distributed across 11 lines. All the selected projects will ensure smooth, safe and reliable transport services. The construction works will continue through the fall if weather permitting.
“We plan to take full advantage of this service reduction to get a head start on the projects necessary to maintain our system. While we’d much rather be running normal service, we’re using this opportunity as best we can. By doing this, we hope to reduce the number of construction schedules needed this summer and may be able to finish some work more quickly than normal,” Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said.
A portion of the work is being performed by Metra’s in-house teams, who are dispatched to make repairs to stations and perform track work, as well as contracted construction firms for larger projects. Metra is also contributing funds for station repairs and upgrades that will be performed by a municipality or its contractors.
In Metra’s 2020 capital programme, USD 241.3 million has been allocated to implement the selected project.
Metra 2020 construction programme includes improvements for 25 stations (USD 51.2 million for station and parking improvements) situated on four railway lines (Rock Island, UP North, Milwaukee District West and BNSF lines), rail crossing improvements and replacement at 37 points. USD 34.2 million will be invested for signalling improvements which involve USD 28.5 million project to install fiber optic cable on the Rock Island and SouthWest Service lines.
The 2020 plan also envisages USD 46 million for track maintenance and improvements which include the replacement of 53,000 rail ties scheduled on the Metra Electric, Milwaukee District North, Southwest Service and BNSF lines. The USD 22.7 million bridge improvement programme will see the continuation of multi-year projects to replace century-old bridges between Grace and Balmoral streets in Chicago on the UP North Line and across the Fox River in Elgin on the Milwaukee District West Line – where Metra will break ground on the replacement of a 121-year-old bridge over Milwaukee Avenue on Chicago’s northwest side adjacent to the Grayland station.