AUBURN GRESHAM — Once a new Metra station is built along the 79th Street Corridor, state Sen. Jacqueline Collins (16th) said it will make access to suburban jobs easier for Auburn Gresham residents.
Collins will introduce the new, $21.5 million Rock Island station project with Gov. Pat Quinn at 11:15 a.m. Saturday at the corner of 79th Street and Fielding Avenue. The new Auburn Park station will be built near 79th and Wallace streets.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be completed sometime in 2016, Collins said.
"I have been fighting for this station since 2009 and now it's finally here," said Collins, whose district includes Auburn Gresham. "My hat goes off to Gov. Quinn who made this happen by funding the station."
In a statement, Quinn said the new facility would not only benefit residents, but businesses, too.
“People without cars cannot spend money on goods and services if they cannot get to businesses or jobs," Quinn said. "This new station would undoubtedly provide a way for them to do both while also creating an interest in the South Side for future business.”
Even though there is a Rock Island station in Auburn Gresham at 87th and Halsted streets, Collins said a second station was also needed.
"There is no Rock Island station for residents in this immediate area. There is a station at 35th and State and one at 87th and Halsted," she said. "I know in Beverly there are stops every four blocks and what's good for Beverly is good for Auburn Gresham, too."
Without a station along the corridor Collins said it would continue to serve as an imbalance to South Side riders.
"[Having] this station means more foot traffic for the community," added Collins.
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