Construction on new enhancements that are expected to benefit public transit commuters of all kinds will begin this spring at Aurora’s Route 59 Metra commuter rail station.
The project will connect nearby residential developments and outlying commercial areas to the station more smoothly and reduce traffic congestion entering and exiting the parking lot.
Improvements are planned in multiple phases at the station, the busiest on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line with 5,800 daily riders.
Three new driveways will be added into the lot from Meridian Lake Drive, and a traffic signal will help improve traffic flow at the intersection of Meridian Lake Drive and Station Boulevard. In addition, the lot will be reconfigured to a north-south orientation, increasing the parking lot’s capacity by approximately 400 new parking spaces and improves pedestrian, vehicle and bus access into and out of the station.
The Pace bus staging area will be relocated to a safer, dedicated location, and the addition of a box culvert at the Waubonsie Creek crossing will make travel easier for pedestrians. The project also includes new safety features, including new parking lot lighting and security cameras.
Improvements will begin on the east side of the parking lot and progressing toward the west, to ease confusion for commuters and minimize the number of parking spaces that will need to be closed on any given day for work to be completed.
Construction is weather dependent, but major work is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. Smaller enhancements, like the addition of new security cameras and landscaping, may occur in 2017.
The train platform will be open for the entire duration of construction.
Commuters, especially those who park in the Aurora Route 59 parking lot, are urged to plan for slightly longer commutes once construction begins. They are encouraged to seek alternate parking and to use Pace Park-n-Ride facilities, if possible. Temporary on-street parking will be available on Meridian Lake Drive and Station Boulevard in specific areas where indicated.
Commuters parking outside of designated areas will be ticketed. Daily and monthly parking fees within the parking lot are still required.
Commuters are reminded to pay special attention to traffic controls, detour signs and a message board that will be updated throughout the project.
The Route 59 Metra Train Station has the highest ridership of any of the 27 stations on Metra’s BNSF rail line, with 100 percent of its 2,200 parking spaces used each weekday. A 2007 survey found that 72 percent of commuters thought congestion in and out of the parking lot was the station’s largest issue.
This project, supported by Federal funds through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant program, is planned to improve air quality by making commuting easier and reducing time vehicles spend idling in congested parking lots.
— Enhancements planned at busy Route 59 Metra station —