IRVING PARK — Construction is underway to replace and upgrade the Grayland Metra station and 122-year-old railroad bridge over Milwaukee Avenue.
Crews from IHC Construction Companies began working on the project last week, and Metra officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday. The station, 3729 N. Kilbourn Ave., will be rebuilt with longer platforms, new public address equipment, visual information signs, shelters with on-demand heat on each side, lighting and stairs and ramps to make it fully ADA-compliant.
The new bridge is supposed to improve train reliability by reducing delays from slow zones and track closures or trains canceled due to maintenance and repair work on the existing bridge.
The construction is expected to be finished by spring 2024, Metra officials said.
The project is being funded with $13.1 million from the Federal Transit Administration, $17.8 million from the Federal Railroad Administration, $2.3 million from Canadian Pacific and $2.9 million in other Metra funding.
The bridge was originally built in 1899, and the improvements were announced last year.
“This bridge is used by dozens of Metra, Amtrak and freight trains every day, and it must be replaced to ensure that service can continue uninterrupted,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra’s CEO and executive director.
Trains will use a temporary two-track bridge during construction. A temporary Grayland Station, south of the current station, will be used to continue service to the area, Metra officials said.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the bridge was used by 61 Metra trains, 17 Amtrak trains and several Canadian Pacific and Wisconsin Southern freight trains each weekday, Metra officials said.
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