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Metra plans for $2M upgrade at Cary station

Aaron Herzog of Island Lake (center) and other riders enter a Chicago-bound train Tuesday at the Cary Metra station. The station is slated for a $2 million upgrade as part of a capital plan approved Friday by the Metra Board.
Aaron Herzog of Island Lake (center) and other riders enter a Chicago-bound train Tuesday at the Cary Metra station. The station is slated for a $2 million upgrade as part of a capital plan approved Friday by the Metra Board.

CARY – The village's 50-year-old Metra station is slated for an upgrade.

Part of the 2015 capital plan approved Friday by the Metra Board of Directors is a plan to carry out the design work of a $2 million upgrade for the Cary Metra station.

Money for the project is coming from federal dollars, and not from the rate increase Metra approved last week mainly for operations, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.

Construction work at the Cary station is expected to take place in 2016, Gillis said.

When construction begins, it is expected to take no more than one construction season. The station would remain open during the work, Gillis said.

The project would include adding at least one warming shelter along the inbound platform, instead of having the current “windbreaks,” Gillis said.

There also are plans for minor work on the outbound side of the station.

“We are doing this work because we recognize the need for warming shelters on the inbound side of the station,” Gillis wrote in an email. “These changes will improve comfort for our passengers in Cary.”

Gillis said in a phone interview the Cary station project has been in the pipeline for a few years and many communities ask for station upgrades.

“I’m glad we’re able to accommodate [Cary] now,” Gillis said.

Cary has been working on its comprehensive plan for the past year, and one of the goals listed in the draft document is relocating the station to the west side, or inbound side of the railroad tracks.

Stations usually are located on the inbound side of the tracks, but Cary’s station is on the outbound side.

“Metra station improvements/upgrades have been a key component of the comprehensive plan,” Village Administrator Chris Clark wrote in an email to the Northwest Herald. “This will be great news for resident commuters and downtown Cary.”

This is the second Metra station upgrade in the county in recent years.

Last year, Metra completed a $3.5 million upgrade at the Fox River Grove station, which included an expanded platform, an additional warming area and an enlarged warming shelter with bathrooms and vendor space.

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