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City to Break Ground on New Metra Station Thursday

Oak Forest officials will break ground at the site of the new Oak Forest Metra Station on Thursday, Oct. 25. The station is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2013.

The City of Oak Forest is set to break ground on a long-anticipated, brand new Metra station on Thursday, Oct. 25. The new station will be located in nearly the same spot as the current Oak Forest Metra Station, 4850 W. 159th Street, although it will offer substantially more to commuters upon its completion.

“The kiss-and-ride area, where there is a looped drive, that is where the new train station will be,” said Oak Forest Community Development Director Adam Dotson.

The new station will feature a warming shelter, bike parking and lockers, bathroom facilities, and indoor and outdoor seating areas for commuters.

Construction costs for the new station will total more than $3 million, with the city footing $1.07 million of the bill. The remaining funding will come from state and federal grants the city has secured.

“At the end of the day, for every dollar the city is putting into this project, we're getting two dollars in grant money,” Dotson said. “I don't think there's a better way to seek funding and come back from it than this.”

The station is the first step in what Mayor Hank Kuspa said could be a revitalization of the area.

“Oak Forest commuters have been waiting a long time for a quality train station,” Kuspa said in a press release. “I think this is just the beginning. This train station is just what we need to revitalize our efforts in creating a dynamic, transit-oriented development in this area.”

Dotson echoed Kuspa's statements during the Oak Forest City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

“I think this is a great opportunity for our city,” Dotson said. “To see some things happen at the train station location that we've always wanted to see happen and I can tell you that there are some opportunities coming up. As we see this construction happen with the train station, things will continue to progress at that location.”

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Julia October 24, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Great as if traffic isn't bad enough in that area....
Matt Aggen October 24, 2012 at 03:12 PM
So, what's going to happen to the kiss-and-ride area then? Because we use that area every day for a rapid drop off in the morning.
Brian Ahlgrim October 24, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Matt, they haven't thought of that yet. Just like the big "Gateway" they called it....the bank is gone....when is CVS gonna shut its doors??
Hank Roesch October 24, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Why is Dotson still working for the city? It really has shown me a lack of leadership that this is the only item that this man and his Manhard Group can bring to our city!
Matt Aggen October 24, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I got an answer from OF over on Facebook. Here's what I was told: "Although the article states that the new train station will be built on that area, it actually will be built north of that area, right next to the current station. The kiss and ride area should stay open during construction." Good stuff.
Bobby Budnick October 24, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Are they going to go shake that money tree behind city hall for the $1.07 million portion of the bill? Or just increase more taxes?
tmo121 October 25, 2012 at 07:26 AM
That's great news for the people from the city of chicago that come up to your car trying to collect money on all four corners of 15 9th &cicero during the summer months. They now have a place to poop!

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