Cary’s new Metra station recently was named one of the Projects of the Year by the American Public Works Association’s Fox Valley Branch.
Also given this award was the removal of biological phosphorus and the ultraviolet disinfection system at the village’s wastewater treatment plant.
According to the APWA’s website, the Project of the Year award was created to “promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects” by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who, working together, complete public works projects.
These awards are given in four divisions: projects less than $5 million; projects more than $5 million, but less than $25 million; projects between $25 million and $75 million; and projects more than $75 million. They also are given in five categories: structures, transportation, environment, historical restoration/preservation and disaster or emergency construction/repair.
Both Cary projects were in the award’s less than $5 million category. The wastewater treatment plant project and Metra station project won in the environment and structures categories, respectively.
According to a news release issued by village officials, the removal of the biological phosphorus and ultraviolet disinfection system at the wastewater treatment plant reduced energy use, increased automation, met or exceeded Environmental Protection Agency discharge limits for phosphorus, improved the environmental sustainability of wastewater treatment options and enhanced employee safety.
Work on the Cary wastewater treatment plant project began in September 2017 and was completed in April 2019, Director of Public Works Eric Morimoto said.
It cost $2.55 million, coming in $150,000 under budget, he said.
Morimoto said the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recently analyzed the Fox River and determined it would be best to require all wastewater treatment plants discharging into the river to meet new regulatory phosphorus requirements. These new phosphorus limits were added to Cary’s most recent renewal of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
Construction on the new Metra station started in 2018, but the planning process began in 2016. It cost about $3.3 million and includes a new 1,400-square-foot station building, as well as a new 300-square-foot warming shelter on the station’s inbound platform. Boarding platforms also were replaced as part of the project.
The new station was funded with $2 million in federal capital dollars obtained by Metra and $400,000 in commuter parking lot funds from Cary. Metra paid for the new platforms, while the village paid for the relocation of utilities and fiber optic lines.
About 900 passengers board at the Cary station every weekday, according to Metra. The Union Pacific Northwest Line, which Cary is on, is Metra’s second-busiest line.