Metra Completes Blue Island Vermont St. Station Rehab


OFFICIALS FROM METRA, CHICAGO, IL, joined Blue Island Mayor Fred Bilotto and other dignitaries recently at a ribbon cutting of the newly rehabilitated Blue Island-Vermont Street Station depot on the agency’s Rock Island Line.

The event marked the completion of a yearlong, $3.7 million, project to restore the historic masonry structure that dates back to 1868. The work included a complete interior renovation; renovation of the roof, including the replacement of gutters and downspouts; the reconstruction of the original chimneys; rehabilitation of wooden eave supports; replacement of all doors and windows; custom brick replacement and masonry staining; asbestos and lead-based paint abatement; new landscaping and site improvements; sidewalk and crosswalk improvements and repairs to meet ADA compliance for accessible routes; and new wayfinding and intermodal signs.

rural rail station

“Events like these highlight the important role that our partners play in helping maintain Metra’s state of good repair and making our rail system one that is customer friendly, accessible and safe,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra CEO/executive director. “And in the case of this project, we were also able to preserve an important part of Blue Island’s history.”

The work was funded by FTA, Metra and a grant from RTA’s Innovation, Coordination and Enhancement program. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is the unit of local government created to oversee finances, secure funding and to conduct transit planning for Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace.