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Metra unveils 2023 construction plans

Metra yesterday unveiled its construction plans for 2023.

The Chicago commuter railroad will spend $119.5 million — about a quarter of its annual capital funding — on rebuilding and renewing stations. The railroad’s five-year plan will account for improvement projects in about 20% of the railroad’s 240-plus stations, Metra officials said in a press release.

This year’s construction plan includes major rehabilitation projects to preserve historic facilities, Metra officials said. Grayland Station on the Milwaukee District North Line will be rebuilt as part of a project to replace a 124-year-old bridge with a new bridge and abutments over Milwaukee Avenue. Rehab activities — including a complete interior renovation, roof and gutter renovations, chimney reconstruction and replacement of all doors and windows — are wrapping up at Blue Island Vermont Street Station on the Rock Island Line.

Later this year, rehab projects will begin on the 132-year-old Kenilworth Station on the UP North Line and the 97-year-old LaGrange Road Station on the BNSF Line.

The Metra Electric Community Initiative aims to improve 13 stations on the Metra Electric Line. This year, crews will rehab station facilities and access points; improve accessibility features, such as elevators; and replace or rehab platforms at the 147th Street, 95th Street, 79th Street, 87th Street, 103rd Street, Millennium and Homewood stations.

Additionally, Metra crews will replace the existing wood platforms at the 83rd Street and 67th Street stations, and the stairs and retaining walls at 27th Street Station.

Metra also plans to replace nearly 210,000 ties, at least 7,500 feet of track and 24 grade crossings this year. In addition, two projects call for testing new technology that monitors safety equipment performance at crossings. The railroad will use that data to identify maintenance needs.