Station Makeover Plans Begin as Metra Rehab Ends

Village officials say planning is underway for an aesthetic upgrade to Stone Avenue Station, which comes as Metra announces its platform redo to finish by September.

The buzz of machinery is back at Stone Avenue Station after a three-week delay due to a labor union strike. Officials at Metra say by September, the inbound and outbound platforms are to be complete.

But that doesn't mean the makeover is done. More construction is scheduled for 2011.

The Village of La Grange is working on its own plans to aesthetically change the station by redoing the shelters, the station, and "the overall site," said Andrianna Peterson, assistant village manager. 

The Village acquired $1,085,000 to spruce up the city landmark—$700,000 from a federal grant secured with the help of Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-3) and $385,000 in a grant from the West Suburban Mass Transit District.

"We are working to finalize the preliminary conceptual plan for the project," Peterson said. This includes adjusting the budget and establishing what could be done to Stone Avenue Station to meet Village board expectations.

This fall the Village plans to put out bids for the work and to establish a plan of what the station could look like.

The village hopes to begin construction in 2011.

Metra resumed construction at Stone Avenue Station on July 26 after a three-week strike that silenced major renovations across Chicagoland ended. The project, which will cost $1 million in total for Metra, started in 2009, then took a break for the winter and resumed in April of this year, said Michael Gillis, a Metra spokesperson.

The inbound platform is nearly done and construction on the outbound platform will start shortly, he said. Tactile—bumpy tiles to help the visually impaired—will be installed on both platforms, in accordance to the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The labor union strike began June 30 and ended July 20. Lissa Druss Christman, the representative for the contractors who were in negotiations with the union, said the contractors agreed on a 3.25 percent increase in wages and benefits each year, for three years.


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