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New Metra Station Will Break Ground in July

Two grants will help pay for the construction of the more than $3 million station at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Forest.

Oak Forest residents can expect to see shovels in the ground for the new $3.4 million Metra station this July.

The made the announcement in a news release earlier this month. The new Metra station, planned for 159th Street and Cicero Avenue, will have several amenities, including a warming shelter, restrooms, indoor and outdoor seated waiting areas and a geothermal heating system.

Two grants will help pay for the project. Oak Forest received $1 million from the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and $1.3 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation in the fall, according to officials.

"We're just tying up the loose ends at this point," said Community Development Director Adam Dotson in a news release. "We worked diligently to pursue these funding opportunities because we believe that the train station plays a very important role in revitalizing the area."

Oak Forest's Metra station serves about 1,600 weekday passengers and is on the Rock Island District route, which runs from Joliet to downtown Chicago.

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More information about the Oak Forest Metra station

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NANCY GRACE April 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Hope Oak Forest takes a look around at other towns "warming stations" at the metra stations. This "warming station" must be locked at night otherwise it will be destroyed by people sleeping and then showering inside the bathrooms. When commuters need to use the bathrooms they will be locked out... this is going to be a new,clean facility hopefully it doesn't get taken over. Point made.
Amy Kupcake Litviak April 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM
being a metra rider from the oak forsest station i'm excited about this. i just hope they have it finished by winter or else there will be a lot of people angry and cold.
Roger Norkus April 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
This is a great start to begin updating Cicero ave. Lets keep it going....
Matt Aggen April 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I agree with this. We need to keep the momentum going.
LBoakforest April 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
do we really need something this extravagant? also anyone notice there is a difference in cost of building and what money will be made available. who is making up this difference? i think cameras installed in all the parking lots would be a smarter way to spend the money - updating the current structure would work just fine for the current metra riders. anyone notice how well the past plans for building businesses and condos worked out for this area? i see PNC closed down already - you know CVS will be next. also there is a lot of "after hours" going on - drinking, broken bottles, graffiti, broken windows (plywood was up there for 6 mos!), urinating on the building. i just think using the money in a more useful manner would bring more parkers to these lots - something is always being stolen from the cars parked in the lots for this metra station. then maybe the people with the FAKE disability placards wouldnt feel the need to use all of the front spaces. MONTHLY checks should be done on the validity of the placards parking. i did NOTICE when the officer parked there for a couple of days - the disability drivers werent as abundant. hmmm...go figure.
phxdr April 30, 2012 at 04:09 PM
This is the focus of this town and they wonder why they are laughed at by everyone. PNC is closed, CVS is not far behind they raised taxes on EVERYTHING and they think a train station will be a silver bullet. No one cares about how a train station looks. pri·or·i·ty Noun: 1.A thing that is regarded as more important than another. 2.The fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important
Nick Swedberg (Editor) April 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM
How many here are Metra commuters? What does having a new station mean to you?
GS April 30, 2012 at 05:40 PM
This is a total waste of money. As long as Randy gets to stay around that is all that matters. I ride everyday from here. They could have done without the 30% rate hike instead and kept the current building. I agree there should be video in the lots or atleast a patrol at night.
Amanda A April 30, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I'm a Metra commuter, and I don't use the station often if at all. I get my monthly pass mailed to me and my husband drops me off, so I can wait in a warm car if I have to. I think the current station looks like a run down trailor, and that the new station will boost Oak Forest's image. I'll check it out, and if it offers something to me, I may frequently use it in the future. I can't say whether or not I think it will promote new business coming in, but why not hope?
phxdr April 30, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Oak Forest waste money....I have never heard of that happening! Anyone remember the 220,000 dollar sign that gave the time and temp at the corner of 159th and Cicero that was torn down for the great successful gateway project? It too was from a grant in which Oak Forest should have been made to pay back every cent.
Amy Kupcake Litviak April 30, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I heard we received funding and grants for the new station. none of oak forest's money will be spent on the project. Can everyone stop their negativity for 2 seconds to realize that this is a fantastic thing for people who spend every day at the station waiting for their train to work? as it is right now there isn't nearly enough room to accomodate the amount of commuters that come through the station. instead of fighting and arguing about situations that will better our town, why dont you all stand up for something more important like fighting the new sales tax or opposing something that actually deserves opposition. this station is going to help not hurt. it's time we act like adults and accept the change for what it is, a good thing.
Michael M. May 01, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Amy the article states-"Two grants will help pay for the project. Oak Forest received $1 million from the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and $1.3 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation in the fall, according to officials." and "Two grants will help pay for the construction of the more than $3 million station at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Forest." So according to the story we can infer that the remainder ($700,000.00) is to be paid by the citizens. The city is constantly wasting money. They are using taxpayer dollars for facade improvements on private businesses. This means you and I are paying for new signs for businesses, painting of their exteriors, new windows, landscaping and so on. Then they install a 1% sales tax because the city is at leas 1.3 millions dollars in the hole. It is all about priorities. Where is the return on investment for the money with this project? Will this make money for the city or lower our taxes, most likely not.
J. Pauley May 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM
This corner could benefit from a new train station but how about building one using the money that we already have? Revise the plans and scale it down to a $2 million buildilng. Perhaps the economic development director is just trying to justify his job? The press release stated that they are breaking ground on July 1. Considering that the city does not have all the funding necessary and the city council has not approved a builder, just how do we break ground in less than 2 months? Is this another "field of dreams" fiasco? I wonder what will go in the empty bank and how will we keep CVS?
Oak Resident May 07, 2012 at 07:11 AM
I do hope this project is successfully done and funded from grants and not from taxpayers here. I also hope we can find a few more businesses to go near the station but it is a tough sell in this economy.
OF Donna May 07, 2012 at 02:38 PM
This station looks tiny compared to the other new train stations. When looking over the design of the building, it looks like they are going with just the bare necessities. I hope I am wrong.
Tracey D June 15, 2012 at 04:02 AM
I used to ride Metra for almost 10 years but now work in the suburbs. However, I still live 2 blocks from the station and am glad they're finally doing something about it. It's an embarassment! Pretty sad when neighborhoods like Gresham and Robbins have nicer train stations. What does that say about us? It says we have no pride in our surroundings. Some of you may only have to deal with that station a few minutes a day, but I live down the street from the cesspool. FIX IT!!!
Ruth Ensing July 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Nick - Have you heard anymore on the train station ground breaking? It was supposed to take place in July.

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