RAVENSWOOD — Having projected in January — before the Polar Vortex struck and wreaked havoc on construction schedules — that its new Ravenswood Station would open in May, Metra officials are now aiming for a November debut.
Joe Ott, director of construction for Metra engineering, presented the revised timeline at Thursday night's meeting of the West Ravenswood Neighbors Association.
"The station will open when track work is completed," Ott said, estimating a November date.
The opening of the station will represent the end of Phase 1 of a multi-year project in which Metra has been rebuilding bridges from Balmoral Avenue on the north to Grace Street on the south — 11 bridges total — while simultaneously constructing a new station at Lawrence and Ravenswood avenues.
This first phase has focused solely on the west side of the tracks, meaning that only the west station will be ready for commuters come November. Those on the east side will continue to board trains via a temporary platform.
Ott said that Phase 2 of the project — encompassing the east station and east side of the 11 bridges — won't commence until late 2015 due to funding and procurement issues.
"These things take awhile," he said. "We would have like to have started sooner."
Construction on the second phase is expected to last 18 months, he said, placing completion into 2017.
With less work required on the east side, Ott said he anticipated there would be fewer street closures, largely confined to east-west streets during bridge work, with Ravenswood Avenue far less affected than in Phase 1.
When Metra finishes work on the east side of the tracks, construction will shift south to the rebuilding of Metra bridges located between Addison Street and Webster Avenue.
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