EDGEWATER — Edgewater will finally get its own Metra stop as the commuter rail agency is set to begin work later this year on a station — nearly eight years after plans were announced.
Work is slated to begin September on the long-awaited Peterson-Ridge Metra station, transit and local officials announced Monday. The new station could open in spring 2022.
The $15 million station will be built on the northeast corner of Peterson and Ravenswood avenues and will include on-site parking, a drop-off cul-de-sac and covered waiting areas. Metra will rehab the rail bridges spanning Peterson Avenue and Ridge Boulevard.
Plans for the new stop along Metra’s Union Pacific North rail line were first announced in 2012, but state funding snafus held up the project.
The project fell by the wayside during the state’s years-long budget impasse. Local officials said in 2017 funding for the project was nearly secured, but a $1 billion fund earmarked for Metra was slashed in half that year.
In 2019, Metra announced the $15 million in funding needed for the project had finally been allocated.
The station will be as long as six train cars. Its Downtown-bound platform will have a warming shelter, including an enclosed waiting area and an additional warming station. The northbound platform will have a warming station as well, Metra officials said at a public meeting Monday.
There will be 41 on-site parking spaces at the station, with the ability to add more spaces if needed. A pedestrian plaza will include a car turnaround for dropoffs and pickups.
Other details, including if permit parking will be needed, will be worked out with neighbors as the project progresses, said Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th).
“This is something we’ve all been waiting for,” Vasquez said. “We will make sure we’re communicating with neighbors to include your input throughout the process.”
Metra had sought to build a station in Edgewater to help meet transit demand throughout the North Side. Metra estimates it will see 650 daily boardings at the station.
The station will help make the surrounding area more walkable and perhaps more economically viable, said Ald. Harry Osterman (48th), who has worked on the project since he was a state representative.
“The design is great,” Osterman said. “All of us are looking forward to the day this opens up.”
Transit ridership on Metra and CTA lines has dropped dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the outbreak, Metra has not retooled its plans for the project, said Andrew Roth, director of station design for the agency.
“We’re all learning as we go with COVID-19, and we’ll adjust as we go,” Roth said.
Much of the station work will take place off the nearby roadways. Lane closures will be needed for the bridge rehabilitation, Metra officials said.
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