The Metra UP North Rebuild: Fullerton to Addison Project along Metra’s Union Pacific North (UP-N) Line consists of the following project elements:
- The replacement of 11 railroad bridges from Fullerton Avenue to Cornelia Street;
- The replacement of retaining walls where required from Fullerton Avenue to Addison Street;
- Shifting tracks west to align with the existing tracks north and south of the project area;
- The lowering of Roscoe and Cornelia Streets to maintain current clearance under the roadway and the CTA Brown Line;
- Refurbish, including painting, the existing Lincoln/Addison bridge; and
- Some utility work along the project corridor.
The UP-N Line bridges are 120 years old. Along with the adjacent retaining walls, these bridges have surpassed their functional lifespan and can no longer be economically repaired and maintained. This project will modernize the existing infrastructure, reduce maintenance needs along the UP-N Line, create efficiencies and reduce operating costs, and improve the customer experience with increased reliability and passenger comfort.
The project will result in new bridge structures that enhance the resiliency and reliability of Metra UP North rail service and improve accessibility at railroad underpasses. More specifically, the benefits of the Project include:
- Modernized infrastructure along the corridor through the replacement of outdated structures.
- Improved accessibility from reconstructed underpasses with increased lighting and ADA accessible pedestrian travel paths, where applicable.
- Improved energy efficiency, reduction of oil and diesel fuel dependence, and improved air quality through a reduction in congestion-related emissions due to less service delays and the ability to maintain consistent locomotive speeds.
- Improvements to the customer experience through increased passenger comfort and reliability. Although there will not be an increase in the number of trains or service on the line, infrastructure improvements will reduce potential service interruptions and delays.
The total estimated cost of the project is $262.3M. The project has been included in Metra’s Capital Program for the past three years. Funds totaling $161.2 million are currently allocated for its implementation sources:
- $6 million from 2019 Federal Transit Authority 5337 State of Good Repair Funds
- $156.1 million from Rebuild Illinois Bond Funds
Metra continues to pursue additional project funding.
UP North Line Background
The UP North Line provides rail service to passengers between downtown Chicago, suburban communities in Cook and Lake Counties, and Kenosha, WI. Most of its 27 stations throughout 15 communities have been in their existing general location for more than a century. Prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Metra operated 70 revenue trains each weekday on the UP-N Line with average weekday ridership of 34,600 passengers. This Project will secure another century of connectivity for rail passengers and the local community.
This project is currently in the design and planning stage. An environmental review process is being conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which also includes a noise and vibration analysis. The project is anticipated to be constructed in two phases. Construction is expected to begin in 2023, with completion expected in 2027.
Construction in the Community
The project is anticipated to be constructed in two phases to maintain all rail operations and reduce disruptions to pedestrian, bicycle, and auto traffic. There will be some street and sidewalk closures throughout the project, in which the community will be notified beforehand. Additionally, property owners with backyards, gardens or other property adjacent to the railroad may be impacted by construction. Metra will be conducting outreach and coordination with these property owners.
Check out our recent virtual public meeting (hosted on Sept. 9, 2021) to hear from the team about how we plan to modernize our 120-year-old bridges and project scope, benefits, and timeline!
Watch the recording of the public meeting below.
Note: We will be adding a Frequently Asked Questions document and a recording with Spanish subtitles soon!
Email us at UPNrebuild@metrarr.com