Work to begin on Stone Avenue station in La Grange
The La Grange Doings
LA GRANGE – Construction is expected to begin Oct. 28 to renovate the historic Stone Avenue station in La Grange, beginning with a new roof.
Village officials and others with a stake in the project gathered Oct. 24 to celebrate the effort’s launch after at least seven years of planning.
Village President Tom Livingston thanked U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-3rd, of Western Springs, for his help in securing a $700,000 grant to help fund the project. The West Suburban Mass Transit District awarded the village a $385,000 grant in 2006.
Lipinski said he was pleased to see construction about to begin and made no apologies for earmarking the project four years ago, the congressional practice of directing approved funds to be spent on specific projects.
“That was the last year we had earmarks, and I hope they bring them back to help fund worthwhile projects like this one,” Lipinski said.
The $1.1 million project awarded to Boller Construction Co., Waukegan, includes replacing the roof, gutters and downspouts, tuckpointing the station’s brickwork and replacing doors and light fixtures. Plans also call for renovating the outbound platform and regrading the ground from Burlington Avenue approaching the station.
In addition to the two grants, the village also was awarded a $40,000 grant from the transit district to install security camera systems at the La Grange Road and Stone Avenue stations.
Officials also applied for an additional $155,000 in state and regional transit grants to improve the grounds around the Stone Avenue station for pedestrians. Notification is expected in November on whether the grants will be awarded.
Assistant Village Manager Andrianna Peterson said the ticket office will remain open throughout the project, and workers will strive the keep open a portion of the station’s interior for commuters.
Robert Boller said his construction company has successfully completed a number of Metra station improvements and he was particularly interested in winning the Stone Avenue project because of the station’s historic nature.
“We pre-plan as much as possible to make things as smooth as they can be during construction,” Boller said.
Boller acknowledged a considerable chunk of the project must be done with flaggers to protect workers from trains passing close to the station. Work must be done during non-rush hours to comply with safety regulations, he said. The project is expected to be finished in June.
Peterson said Metra has advertised for bids on a project to fix the La Grange Road station, which was damaged in December by a car accidently driven through one wall. Repairs are expected to be completed in the spring.
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