Metra adds state funding for 2 new rail stations

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Chicago’s Metra added funding for two new stations in Chicago to its capital program after the state of Illinois said it would release the money for the long-awaited projects. The stations will be built at Auburn Park near 79th Street on the Rock Island Line and Peterson and Ridge on the Union Pacific North Line.

The two stations have been planned for years, and Metra intended to fund construction of both with its share of proceeds from two state of Illinois bond programs from 2009. However, that funding was first held up in the state’s budget woes and then cut in 2017, when the state informed Metra that its share from the bond programs would be reduced to $835.7 million from $1.1 billion.

Funding for the stations was restored in recent state budgets, and the state has told Metra it is releasing the money — $15 million for Peterson Ridge and $20 million for Auburn Park.

Planning for the Peterson Ridge Station is further along than for Auburn Park, with the engineering design essentially complete. Metra anticipates putting the project out to bid this summer with construction starting later this year or early next year.

Work on the design for the Auburn Park Station is currently 60% complete. The Metra Board approved a $1.1 million change order with the firm T.Y. Lin International Inc., to complete design for the station to be located just south of 79th Street on the Rock Island Line. Metra’s goal is to have the design complete by the end of 2019 with construction planned for spring 2020.