On this freezing cold December day -- ground was broken for the new Metra station in west suburban Bellwood. The new station will replace the current Bellwood and
Melrose Park stations and anchor a 55-acre retail and housing development.
One of the prime movers for the station was U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.). Asked if he was surprised that the station is finally going up after months of negotiations between the village and Union Pacific, which controls the tracks, Davis said he was "pleasantly delighted."
"While I wouldn't call it a miracle, It's a certainly a great Christmas present for the people in the western suburbs," said Davis at the groundbreaking.
Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale said the project is the first brand new Metra station being built in a mainly minority community.
The plans include a traffic underpass at 25th Avenue, a pedestrian bridge so
commuters don't have to cross the tracks and a way to deal with
excess water from nearby Addison Creek.
The new station, to be completed next year, will be located at
about 29th Avenue, north of Grant Street.
The Metra station and a two-story parking garage will cost between
$10 million and $15 million, funded by TIF bonds.