The Chicago-area Metra Acting Chairman Larry Huggins and CEO Alex Clifford joined Alderman Ameya Pawar and Representative Greg Harris on September 5 to break ground on the construction of the new Ravenswood Station on the Union Pacific North Line.
The $18.3-million station will offer longer, covered platforms and warming shelters on both sides, improved lighting, space for a ticket office and a vendor, ramps, stairs and landscaping. It will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new station will replace the existing station just south of Lawrence. Ravenswood Station serves more than 2,000 riders a day, making it the busiest outlying station on the UP North Line. It also has a substantial number of reverse commuters, mandating the need for new shelters on both platforms. The new station with its longer platforms will better serve the growing number of Ravenswood riders and improve loading times at the station, which will result in more timely and efficient train service.
Because the existing station cannot be used while it is being rebuilt, temporary boarding platforms on the north side of Lawrence will be used during construction. The temporary inbound platform has been built and is already in use; the outbound platform is currently under construction and will be completed by the end of September.
The station reconstruction is part of a major $215-million project to replace UP North bridges over 22 streets on the north side of Chicago. That project began last year. Staging the work is complicated by the need to keep two tracks in operation during the project so regular UP North service is not impacted.
The bridges are more than 100 years old and can no longer be economically repaired and maintained. The new bridges will offer increased safety and will last for more than 100 years.
The outbound portion of the new Ravenswood Station will be built in conjunction with the construction of the new western bridges. That phase should be complete by the fall of 2013. The inbound portion of the new Ravenswood Station will be completed during the second phase, which will take about two years.