Metra launches $216m infrastructure project in Chicago

A Metra train at Van Buren station, Chicago. Credit: Tupungato/ Shutterstock

Metra has announced a $216 million plan to improve Chicago’s commuter rail network.

The service provider intends to replace ageing bridges on the UP North and Milwaukee West lines and construct new sections of track on the UP West Line, as well as carrying out smaller infrastructure upgrades across its other 10 lines.

The plan includes improvement works at 29 of Metra’s 241 stations, on 21 bridges, 29 road crossings, and the replacement of 57,000 rail ties.

Metra crews will also be upgrading signalling and communications systems on each of the lines ready for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) ahead of the December 2018 deadline set by Congress.

In an announcement made on April 10, Metra said the work will be undertaken in part by in-house crews as well as contracted construction firms.

Metra executive director Don Orseno said: “We plan to take full advantage of the construction season by making improvements where we can with our limited funding.

“Our goal is to be as efficient as possible with the resources we have and limit the impact of construction activity on our customers.”

Work is expected to begin this week and continue through the autumn.

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