Commuters' dreams of a new Metra station in Oak Forest are closer to becoming reality.
officials Tuesday approved an agreement that ensures funding for the nearly $3.3 project is in place, Dotson said. With Metra's approval, construction could begin in November.
The groundbreaking on the new station—which will include a warming shelter, restrooms and indoor/outdoor seating—has been delayed multiple times, as the City waits for funding to become accessible. An agreement with the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority, and Metra's approval of the agreement, secures the funding, said Community Development Director Adam Dotson.
"We are getting close," Dotson said. "It feels like a marathon, and we're at mile 15 right now."
Of the project's cost, an estimated $1 million will come from the City, with an additional $1 million from the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, and $1.3 from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The agreement with the RTA guarantees that Metra will reimburse Oak Forest throughout the construction process, as the City pays contractors.
"No matter what Metra's perogatives are, at the end of the day we're going to have a great station for the corner of 159th and Cicero," said Community Development Director Adam Dotson. "It will be a great asset."
Once complete, Oak Forest will not own the station, but will have to maintain it. Ald. Laura Clemons (1st) said she prefers that the City be responsible for the upkeep, as it's easier to enforce in-house.
"Consistency is a good thing," said Alderman Laura Clemons.
The new 1,700-square-foot station will be built near the current depot, which dates back to the 1960s. The current facility will remain open while the new station is under construction.
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