Construction of Edgewater Metra station could begin in spring
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter September 2, 2013 4:39PM
An artist's rendering of the planned Peterson Ridge Metra station. (Image courtesy of Metra)
Updated: October 4, 2013 6:19AM
As Metra tries to move forward from a scandal-filled year, many in Edgewater are focusing on something they’ve been waiting on for years: a new Metra station.
The North Side neighborhood will see ground broken on a new station at Peterson and Ridge as soon as spring, Metra officials said.
The UP North station is expected to be 60 percent designed by the end of September, and completely designed by the end of the year, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said last week.
After that, Metra will go out to bid, and construction could begin in the spring or early summer and take a year.
The station will be the fourth stop on the line coming from the Ogilvie Transportation Center, and will help alleviate congestion at both the Rogers Park and Ravenswood stations.
Gillis said the $15 million Edgewater station, along with two other planned stations in Auburn Park and Romeoville, are in areas that are not currently served by Metra. Community leaders led in acquiring the funding for these stations, he said.
In 2011, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) announced he had secured $10 million in funding for the $15 million station. The additional $5 million will be acquired through state bonds, Gillis said.
Chris Swan, who is with the organization West Edgewater Area Residents (WEAR), said the neighborhood is in a “microcenter of the city, where there’s not much in terms of parks. And transportation is terrible in our particular little area.”
“Most people in my neighborhood drive,” Swan said. “Some people do go to Lawrence [CTA Red Line station], but they cab or bus it, and it’s definitely a pain, particularly in the winter.
Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th) has hosted several neighborhoood meetings to udpate Edgewater residents of the plan. Earlier this year, he released preliminary renderings of the station that show a red brick station and a warming center.
And for those worried about parking, O’Connor said plans are still being finalized, but spots from Peterson south along the east side of Ravenswood are guaranteed “well over a city block.”
“Parking will be pretty significant,” the alderman said.
O’Connor called the project a “difficult” one that required residents’ patience. But the location of the station, he says, is tailor made because it’s in a dead spot in terms of people and development.
“The station is in a place where you can put this in and not really disrupt people’s home or lives,” O’Connor said. “Quite honestly, it’s at a point in our community where options are either busing it to the L or taking their car downtown. This will give them not just a jump on the train, but it’ll cut the commute time. So we’re very happy about that.”