Along with its partners, Metra, which provides commuter rail service in the Chicago area, will begin $216 million in infrastructure projects in 2017, including the replacement of aging bridges on the UP North and Milwaukee West lines and new track segments on the UP West Line. Construction work is expected to begin this week and continue through the fall.
“We’re extremely pleased that three very significant improvement projects are moving forward this year,” said Don Orseno, Metra executive director and CEO. “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.”
The projects for 2017 include the following:
- Station improvements for 29 of Metra’s stations including five stations along the BNSF Line to Aurora;
- Track improvements that will replace approximately 57,000 railroad ties and will add about eight miles of third track on the UP West Line.
- Bridge improvements are planned for 21 bridges across the Metra system and include projects on the BNSF, Milwaukee West, Rock Island, UP North and UP Northwest lines.
- Road crossing improvements to 29 road crossings system-wide; and
- Signal and communications improvements that will upgrade signal and communications systems on each of the lines it controls for compatibility with PTC.
Most work will be performed during off-peak hours and on weekends.