Spring has officially arrived and with it construction season. Metra is advising commuters who use the BNSF Line’s Downers Grove, Ill., Main Street Station to be aware that a platform replacement project set to begin this month will close off access to portions of the boarding platforms for much of the spring and summer.
On April 16, construction workers plan to begin fencing off the west ends of both the inbound and outbound platforms at Downers Grove Main Street to replace the existing platforms with new concrete ones. The work on this part of the platforms is projected to take two to three months. Once the western portions of the platforms are completed, the east ends of each platform will be closed off and work will begin to replace them. The work planned for the east end will also include the construction of a pedestrian diversion on the east end of each platform at Washington Street.
During the first phase, commuters will only be able to board or alight from trains at the east ends of both platforms. The process will be reversed for the second phase when commuters will only have access to the west end of the platforms. Both at-grade crossings near the station (Main Street and Washington Street) will remain open throughout the project. Onboard announcements advising Downers Grove commuters to prepare for the change in their commuting routines will begin the week of April 7.
Downers Grove commuters should also be advised that access to the station building from the platform will be blocked while the west ends of the platforms are replaced. The doors on that side of the building will be locked. The work will also include replacement of the building’s concrete entryway connecting it to the platform side as well as additional drainage for rainwater. The station building will continue to be accessible through the entrance on the building’s south side.
For the duration of the $1.1 million project, some commuter parking at Downer’s Grove Main Street will be temporarily taken out of service so that the contractor can stage material and equipment. The exact number of spaces impacted by the project is yet to be determined. However, to minimize the impact on Metra riders, the contractor, John Burns Construction, is seeking to lease private property for most equipment and material storage.
Metra, the BNSF Railyway and John Burns Construction have worked closely with the village throughout the planning and development of this project.