Chicago's Metra will perform grade-crossing work on Milwaukee Avenue where it intersects with its Milwaukee North Line in Libertyville, Ill., from May 2-7.
A routine track inspection last week found that elements of the crossing, particularly the rubber and rail, have experienced an unusual amount of wear, possibly due to the harsh winter. As a precaution until the work is complete, Metra has ordered trains to pass over the crossing at no more than 30 mph.
The 30 mph restriction does not have a huge impact on operations because trains are already either slowing to stop at the Libertyville Station, or they have just left the station and are not yet at full speed.
If repairs to the crossing are not completed, further wear could result in a greater speed reduction. The work includes removing the asphalt, rubber panels, rails, ties and ballast and replacing all those elements with new materials. The length of the closure is necessitated by the amount of work to be done, as well as the need to allow the newly rebuilt section to settle before the work can be completed. The work will cost about $175,000 to $200,000.