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Metra breaks ground on the reconstruction of Ravenswood Station

(September 5, 2012) - 
Metra Acting Chairman Larry Huggins and CEO Alex Clifford joined Ald. Ameya Pawar and Rep. Greg Harris on Wednesday to break ground on the construction of a bigger and better Ravenswood Station on the Union Pacific North Line.
The $18.3 million station will offer longer, covered platforms and warming shelters on both sides, improved lighting, space for a ticket office and a vendor, ramps, stairs and landscaping. It will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new station will replace the existing, outdated station just south of Lawrence. Ravenswood Station serves more than 2,000 riders a day, making it the busiest outlying station on the UP North Line. It also has a substantial number of reverse commuters, mandating the need for new shelters on both platforms. The new station with its longer platforms will better serve the growing number of Ravenswood riders and improve loading times at the station, which will result in more timely and efficient train service.
Because the existing station cannot be used while it is being rebuilt, temporary boarding platforms on the north side of Lawrence will be used during construction. The temporary inbound platform has been built and is already in use; the outbound platform is currently under construction and will be completed by the end of September.
The station reconstruction is part of a major $215-million project to replace UP North bridges over 22 streets on the north side of Chicago. That project began last year. Staging the work is complicated by the need to keep two tracks in operation during the project so regular UP North service is not impacted.
The bridges are more than 100 years old and can no longer be economically repaired and maintained. The new bridges will offer increased safety and will last for more than 100 years.
Under the first phase of the first stage of the project, new single-track bridges and new tracks are being constructed along the western edge of the right of way, west of the existing two tracks, over 11 streets between Grace and Balmoral. The work also includes substantial retaining wall work along parts of the western edge to support the new track.
The outbound portion of the new Ravenswood Station will be built in conjunction with the construction of the new western bridges. That phase should be complete by the fall of 2013.
So far, new bridges have been completed over Grace, Berteau, Sunnyside, Wilson and Balmoral.
During the second phase of the first stage, the new bridges and new track on the western edge of the right of way will start carrying outbound trains, while one of the two old tracks, the one on the eastern edge of the right of way, will continue to carry inbound trains. That will allow a second set of single-track bridges to be built in the middle of the right of way over the same 11 streets between Grace and Balmoral.
The inbound portion of the new Ravenswood Station will be completed during the second phase, which will take about two years.
The second stage of the project will involve similar phases to build bridges over 11 streets between Fullerton and Cornelia.
Click here to see the construction rendering of the Ravenswood station.
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