Metra opens new Auburn Park station

State and local officials joined Metra in celebrating the groundbreaking construction of the new Auburn Park station on the Rock Island Line in the Auburn-Gresham community on Chicago’s South Side.

“We are thrilled and pleased to open this station and take an important step towards bringing fast and reliable Metra service to this community,” said Jim Derwinski, CEO and Executive Director of Metra. “We want to thank the governor. [JB] Pritzker and [State] Sen. [Jacqueline ] Collins, especially for their vision and leadership and for providing the funding that makes this station possible.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker added, “Through our Rebuild Illinois infrastructure plan, Auburn Gresham is getting a new, fully accessible Metra station. This sparkling station will improve access to transportation and jobs throughout the region, support economic development and opportunity in the neighborhood, and contribute to the overall health of the community. Revitalizing communities, redesigning transit systems — these are the improvements that make it easier for parents to get to and from work, so they can spend more time with their families. This is the kind of change I’m proud to support, and it’s the kind of change that is at the heart and soul of what Rebuild Illinois is.

The new fully accessible 79th Street station will include:

  • A large landscaped square with bike racks, benches, trees and an awning.
  • A vendor building with glass storefronts and a bright, open atmosphere.
  • A living green wall along the existing retaining wall.
  • A staircase and two elevators between street and platform levels.
  • A 480 foot long platform with a light polycarbonate canopy and two shelters.
  • A snow melting system that will keep the rig clear without the need for de-icing chemicals.
  • A new 84-space parking lot including a drop-off area, covered bicycle parking, landscaped islands, trees and a decorative fence to protect the land from neighboring houses.
  • Pavement improvements to allow vehicle access to the station.

“This long-awaited new station will provide Auburn-Gresham residents with better access to jobs, school, recreational opportunities and other meaningful destinations in their lives,” said Chicago Department Commissioner Gia Biagi. of Transportation (CTDOT). “CDOT is proud to have worked with Metra to coordinate public road improvements to ensure people who walk, cycle and drive can easily and safely access the station, and we look forward to seeing this project come to life.

The $28.2 million contract for the new station and parking lot was awarded to John Burns Construction of Orland Park. Burns pledged to allocate 38% of contract dollars to DBE companies. Construction is expected to take approximately 30 months.

“Communities on the south side have long suffered from disinvestment and unequal access to basic amenities like public transport. It means a lack of access to jobs and opportunities for working families here,” said Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago). “As we open today, we signal to these communities that we are changing course by investing in their holistic development and building a better and more equitable Chicagoland.”

The new station aims to improve access to transportation and jobs throughout the region, support economic development and opportunity in the neighborhood, and contribute to the overall health of the community.

“This project is long overdue, a future transportation asset that will improve the quality of life in a vibrant city, region and state neighborhood,” said Illinois Secretary of Transportation Omer Osman. “Under Governor Pritzker, Rebuild Illinois is making projects like this possible across the state, making Illinois an even more attractive place to grow a business and career, raise your family, recreate and play.”

Melvin Z. Madore