Chicago's Metra announced its board approved a $33.9 million contract to completely rebuild and make accessible three stations on the Metra Electric Line on the South Side of Chicago — the 79th, 87th, and 103rd Street stations.
The work is part of the Metra Electric Community Initiative, a multiyear, multimillion-dollar plan to transform 13 stations on the line, according to Metra's news release.
“We are excited that our station renovation work is ramping up with this contract to upgrade three more stations on the Metra Electric Line,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra CEO. “As part of our commitment to My Metra riders, we are prioritizing station improvements, in particular making stations accessible to persons with disabilities.”
The work at all three stations will include the demolition of the existing stairs, headhouses, platforms, and platform structures. The projects will provide new enclosed, ADA-accessible street-level entrances and lobbies including elevators; new stairs and headhouses; new composite deck platforms; and new lighting, landscaping, and signage.
The work is expected to begin next summer and will require each station to be closed for about seven months. However, the work will be done in stages so no more than two of the stations will be closed at one time, according to Metra.
The contract calls for one station to be closed and worked on for approximately three months before the second station is also closed and worked on at the same time. After the second station has been closed and worked on, the major work should be completed at the first station so it can reopen. After the first station is reopened, the third station then would be closed and worked on.
Similar work is already underway at a fourth station on the line — the 147th Street/Sibley Boulevard Station. That work began in May 2022 and is expected to be completed next summer.
The contract for the work at the three stations was awarded to IHC Construction of Elgin, which has committed to subcontracting 30% of the work to DBE firms. Metra said it is funding the work with its share of funding from the Rebuild Illinois capital program.