Chicago's Metra, Union Pacific, the Village of Lombard, Ill., and DuPage County officials broke ground May 14 on more than $9.7-million in improvements at the Lombard Station along the UP West Line, including a new pedestrian underpass, rebuilt platforms and new platform canopies.
“We at Metra realize that our stations serve as gateways to our system, so it’s important to make sure riders get a good impression when they use one for the first time or for the 100th time,” said Metra Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Don Orseno. “That’s why projects like this are so important. We’re going to create an appealing, comfortable station that will serve the community of Lombard and its residents for many years to come.”
The work includes an $8.1-million contract with John Burns Construction of Orland Park for the new pedestrian tunnel, retaining walls, Americans with Disabilities Act ramps, stairways, platform shelters, canopies over both inbound and outbound platforms, landscaping and other ancillary items for the station.
The contract has been funded from a variety of sources including $3.8 million from Metra, $3.3 million from UP, $750,000 from the Illinois Commerce Commission and $300,000 from the Village of Lombard and the work is expected to take about 10 months.
Under a separate project, the platforms also will be reconstructed, at an estimated cost of $1.6 million. Some of that work will be done in conjunction with the tunnel project. The station will remain open during construction and all work will be staged to minimize the disruption to riders. About 1,300 riders use the Lombard Station each weekday.
The tunnel is a component of a multi-million dollar Metra/UP project that is designed to improve the flow of commuter and freight traffic on the heavily used line. Another component was the installation of the “Another Train Warning System” at eight stations along the line. That system uses audible and visual alerts to warn pedestrians at crossings near the stations that another train, in addition to the one that is stopped at the station, is approaching or present.
Other grade crossing protections include new paths that safely guide pedestrians to a gated crossing, more pedestrian gates and more inter-track fencing to discourage pedestrians from crossing at unsafe and unauthorized locations.