FRG starts expanding Metra stop

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FOX RIVER GROVE – Work has begun on the expansion and renovation of the Fox River Grove Metra station.

Union Pacific workers have started expanding the platform to 640 feet, nearly twice the current length of 330 feet. When complete, the station will stretch from Lincoln Avenue to Algonquin Road.

The project is expected to take about a year, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.

The station will remain open during construction.

The expansion is expected to cost $3.5 million, of which Fox River Grove is contributing $82,400.

As part of the work, Metra plans to replace the current warming station with a larger warming house. There also will be vendor space and a bathroom added. Metra plans to add a second, smaller warming house, as well, Gillis said.

Village officials requested LED lights instead of high-pressure sodium lights on the platform and in parking lots. LED lights will help save electricity, Village President Bob Nunamaker said.

The project also includes repaving and striping of the parking lot at the station, Gillis said.

“We’re working to provide a safe and convenient rail station for our current riders and hopefully we’ll have ridership growth and this new station will accommodate that,” he said.

The Fox River Grove station is one of 241 stations that Metra operates.

The expanded Metra station will complement the village’s downtown redevelopment efforts, Nunamaker said. The village has created a TIF district in the downtown in the hope of spurring economic growth in the area.

Discussions of an expanded station began in 2009, Nunamaker said.

Metra decided to expand the station because it believes there will be more people boarding in Fox River Grove, Nunamaker said.

“More boardings will bring more people to the downtown area and introduce them to what we have.”

Path Construction of Arlington Heights has been contracted for the work, Gillis said.