Monday, November 16, 2009

Rehab of 27 stations to cost Metra $136 million

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Some people like the haunted train station look -- the boarded-up windows at the Metra stop at 115th Street, or the eerie yellow light shining on the plywood fencing at Cicero, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Metra, however, is assuming that most riders prefer stations that don't look as if they're about to fall on their heads. So the commuter rail service is doing rehabs on 27 stations in the area.

"We need to make some significant investment in stations," said Metra executive director Philip Pagano. "It's something our customers see everyday."

Metra will spend $136 million on a five-year station-improvement program, using capital money from the state. The work will range from platform work at Naperville and Downers Grove, historic renovations at 91st Street and 115th street on the Southwest Side, and new station buildings at Cicero and Romeoville. Eight Electric District stations will get renewed stairways, platforms and shelter.

Pagano noted that platform material at some Electric District stations has deteriorated because of salt, and that new platform material will better resist damage and should last a "solid 25 years."

In Geneva and Elmhurst, Metra will contribute to parking decks being built by the cities.

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