How close is too close? Residents not happy about future Metra track construction

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Metra will soon begin construction on 12 bridges which will require tracks to be moved closer to residential dwellings.
Metra

If you want anything fixed, you need to fix it yourself.

Many residents on the north side of Chicago would prefer choosing the repair method for the railroad line that is behind their homes.

Metra recently held an open house to go over construction plans over the next few years, and the passenger rail service said it has been going to residents and talking with them one on one. However, many say that is not enough.

Metra will soon start a $263 million project on the Union Pacific North Line that will include work on 12 bridges between Addison and Fullerton. Construction is set to begin next summer and will last five years.

Workers are expected to execute bridge repairs in a phased approach and train service will continue on the two main tracks. A new track will be built to the west, and everything will shift in that direction.

That means the tracks will be about 20 ft closer to residential dwellings. A 9- to 13-ft wall will be constructed. Residents are not looking forward to what they call an eyesore as well as increased vibrations from moving trains.

Metra said ridership is still about 35-48% lower than pre-COVID levels, which has the public preferring service disruptions over the shift of the tracks.

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