EDGEWATER — After a decade of planning, work is finally slated to begin on the Metra station in Edgewater.
Crews for Metra will break ground on the station at Peterson and Ridge avenues at 11 a.m. Monday, according to Metra and Ald. Andre Vasquez’s office. The groundbreaking ends years of fits-and-starts for the long-promised project.
Announced in 2012, the Peterson-Ridge station has been the victim of the state’s years-long budget impasse and, later, permitting issues with the city.
Most recently, work was slated to begin in May, but the Department of Water Management rejected Metra’s plans for environmentally friendly permeable pavers and green landscaping features.
The problem is the ground beneath the station holds city water mains, and the city’s Department of Water Management was worried about groundwater from the station leaking into the water mains, Metra officials said this spring when announcing the delay.
A new groundwater plan had to be submitted before work could move forward.
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.
Metra had sought to build a station in Edgewater to help meet transit demand throughout the North Side. Prior to the pandemic, Metra estimated it would see 650 daily boardings at the station.
The Peterson-Ridge station originally fell by the wayside during the state’s 2010 budget woes. 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.
Work was then supposed to start in September 2020, but work was then pushed to the following spring, when the groundwater issue arised.
The station site was cleared last year before progress was halted. Metra has begun to stage the site and move equipment to the area, said Geoffrey Cubbage, director of policy and economic development for Vasquez.
For more information on the groundbreaking ceremony, click here.
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