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Watch Out Commuters: Metra To Close Intersection At 71st & Stony Island

By Sam Cholke | June 15, 2017 12:16pm | Updated on June 16, 2017 11:03am
 Expect delays at 71st and Stony Island Avenue from June 22-29 as Metra replaces its tracks.
Expect delays at 71st and Stony Island Avenue from June 22-29 as Metra replaces its tracks.
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Flickr Creative Commons/Strannik45

SOUTH SHORE — Avoid Stony Island and 71st Street for the week of June 22 because Metra will close the intersection for track work.

Traffic going to and from the Skyway via Stony Island will be rerouted to Cottage Grove Avenue from June 22-29 while Metra crews replace the worn rail crossing.

Metra said in an announcement Thursday that it realizes the trouble this will cause for commuters so it is accelerating its construction schedule as much as possible.

“Metra understands the impact of closing such a busy Chicago street, which is why we are working to complete the work as quickly as possible,” said Metra Executive Director Don Orseno in the announcement. “We would like to thank motorists and the community in advance for their patience and understanding during the work, which will result in a much smoother crossing for motorists and our customers.”

The intersection hasn’t been redone in 20 years and needs $1.2 million in work to replace ties, rails, asphalt and other components, according to Metra.

Officials for Skyway Concession, which operates the Skyway, said construction will likely only add a few minutes to people's commutes because the detour routes on Cottage Grove Avenue and South Lake Shore Drive can accommodate the extra traffic.

"This should not affect our Skyway passengers at all," said Mike Lowery, chief operating officer for the Skyway. 

The intersection will be closed from midnight June 22 to the morning of June 29.

The CTA’s No. 28 and No. 71 buses will also be rerouted around the intersection.

Several Metra trains will be delayed, rescheduled or canceled during the work on June 24, including:

• Train 327 leaving Millennium Station at 3:10 p.m. and train 339 leaving Millennium at 6 p.m. will be cancelled.

• Train 227 leaving Millennium at 3:05 p.m. and train 239 leaving Millennium at 5:51 p.m. will make all stops to 63rd Street.

• Train 335 leaving Millennium at 5 p.m. will run only to 63rd Street.

• Train 336 will leave from 63rd Street at 6:11 p.m. instead of the South Chicago station.