In October 2002, the Village of Downers Grove entered into a partnership with the State of Illinois, DuPage County, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF), and Metra for the construction of the Belmont Underpass located at the intersection of Belmont Road and the BNSF railroad tracks. The project will reconfigure the intersection from an at-grade crossing to an underpass, with Belmont Road located under the railroad tracks, Warren Avenue, and Burlington Avenue. The project was originally conceived in response to the disproportionately high number of traffic accidents which had occurred at the location since the early 1990s.
Metra will coordinate the construction of the Belmont Underpass. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), the State, Metra, and BNSF are serving as the major funding organizations. Per the agreement, there is no cost to the Village for the project.
When completed, the underpass will offer a variety of benefits:
- Improved vehicular and pedestrian safety by eliminating an existing at-grade rail crossing at Belmont Avenue.
- Faster emergency response times for Fire, EMS and Police personnel by reducing delays when crossing the railroad tracks at Belmont.
- More efficient north-south traffic flow on the western side of the Village.
- Heightened desirability of the Ellsworth Industrial Park by increasing accessibility to the park.
- Sufficient commuter parking space with the number of proposed parking spaces equal to the number of existing public and private commuter parking spaces.
The first phase of the project is complete and included the construction of a temporary Belmont Road “runaround,” new public commuter parking lots at the southwest corner of Belmont Road and Haddow Avenue and at the northeast corner at Belmont Road and Hitchcock Avenue and related utility relocation and construction.
The second phase of the project (2010-2013) will include the construction of the railroad bridge with boarding platforms, the Burlington / Warren Avenue Bridge, access ramps and the relocation of Belmont Road.
The project is expected to be completed in June of 2013.
|Contractor||Lorig Construction Co., Des Plaines, IL|
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10/29/12 Previous Work: Continued miscellaneous grading and restoration; Continued miscellaneous punchlist work; A dedication ceremony took place October 17, 2012. Planned Work: Complete the placement of traffic signal detector loops; Complete landscape restoration (place sod); Install final asphalt surface course and striping after landscaping is complete; Open Belmont to four lanes of traffic with final surface and striping;
9/21/2012 Previous Week: Continued miscellaneous grading and restoration. Planned Work: Place traffic signal detector loops; Complete landscape restoration (place sod); Install final asphalt surface course and striping after landscaping is complete; Open Belmont to four lanes of traffic with final surface and striping.
9/7/2012 Belmont and Curtiss Intersection Improvements Underway. DuPage County has begun the Belmont and Curtiss intersection improvement project. Motorists have experienced significantly more delays getting to the Belmont commuter station as well as traveling north on Belmont Road in the mornings this past week. Staff is working with the County, as well as Metra to manage their two adjacent projects, in conjunction with the Village's watermain replacement project on Curtiss, to reduce the congestion.
Last Week DuPage County completed the installation of signage. Planned Work Begin milling of asphalt pavement in preparation for final surface; Place traffic signal detector loops; Complete landscape restoration (place sod); Install final asphalt surface course and striping after landscaping is complete; Open Belmont to four lanes of traffic with final surface and striping.
8/31/2012 Previous Week Miscellaneous grading and restoration; Completing various Station improvement projects. Planned Work DuPage County and the contractor are installing signage; Complete landscape restoration (place sod) starting September 1st; Install final asphalt surface course and striping after landscaping is complete; Open Belmont to four lanes of traffic with final surface and striping; Metra will be installing station amenities including benches, trash receptacles and station improvements.
8/21/2012 Last Week Activated the new traffic signals at Haddow and Prairie; Fully opened the north boarding platform; Miscellaneous grading and restorations; Building landscape wall at 2119 Warren• Grass seed and blanket was put down to provide for temporary stabilization until permanent seeding and sod is installed; Completed various station improvement projects;
This Week: DuPage County and the contractor will install signage; Complete landscape restoration (place sod) starting September 1st; Install final asphalt surface course and striping after landscaping is complete; Open Belmont to four lanes of traffic with final surface and striping; Metra station amenities including benches, trash receptacles and station improvements.
7/6/2012 The pedestrian tunnel was opened to the public on July 5, replacing the at-grade pedestrian railcrossing. To further enhance safety, inter-rail fencing was installed at this location to preclude pedestrians from crossing the tracks.• The stairways connecting Belmont Road to the rail platforms at the underpass have been opened for use.• The paving and striping of all the off-street commuter parking lots were complete and they are open for parking. The temporary over-flow parking lot on Chase was closed.• Work continues on the new and replacement traffic signals at Haddow and Prairie.• Landscaping of the disturbed areas continues throughout the project.
6/22/2012 Last Week: Curb and sidewalk installations at various locations; Installed traffic signal interconnect between highway bridge and Haddow;Restored Lot H parking lot adjacent to the new south pedestrian tunnel canopy; Completed the parking lot restoration at the SE corner of lot H, and opened the entrance/exit to Belmont Road.
This Week: Complete the sidewalks for the northeast ramp and north bound Belmont; Complete restoration of the private driveway aprons on the east side of Belmont•; Place topsoil; Strip and open Lot H and the southeast lot for parking; Continue to work on the traffic signals at Haddow and Prairie; Complete the platform east of the RR bridge; Open the east end of the northern rail platform and open the pedestrian tunnel by 7/2; Continue the installation of windows for the stairwells and south canopy; BNSFRR to install intertrack fencing and remove the at-grade crossing when the pedestrian tunnel opens.
6/11/2012 Last Week: Completed installation of the metal roofs and ceilings at the three south canopies;Pavement removal and earth excavation and aggregate base course work for north bound Belmont, north of ramps; Installed store front windows at three south canopies; Completed storm sewer installations north bound Belmont; Formed and poured various sidewalks; Completed asphalt work for south parking lots; Poured curb and gutter for northeast ramp; Installed security cameras in the pedestrian tunnel and tunnel structures.
- Continue excavating old Belmont Road north of the RR Tracks. As the excavation proceeds north and crosses driveways entrances, the driveways will be inaccessible between 7:00am - 3:30pm. The contractor will notify the residents the day prior to the excavation to allow the residents to park on old Belmont Rd. in the work zone north of their property. The contractor plans to cross each driveway one at a time to minimize the disturbance. At the end of each day, the driveway will be re-established on temporary aggregate and will be accessible from the south.
- Complete curbs for northbound Belmont and prepare for paving
- Install new traffic signals at Prairie and Haddow
- Landscape south of tracks and south parking lots
- Complete the installation of the new north boarding platforms and the sidewalks connecting to them
- Continue work on the south pedestrian tunnel and the south stairwells.
It is possible that Belmont Road will be open for four lanes of traffic and the new pedestrian tunnel could be opened in late June.
5/25/2012 Continued framing and installing the metal roofs and ceilings at the three south canopies; Pavement removal and earth excavation and aggregate base course work for north bound Belmont, north of ramps; Installing store front windows at three south canopies.; Misc. storm sewer installations on north bound Belmont.; Concrete staining at various locations, south of tracks.; Placed and caulked stage 1 concrete panels for new north boarding platform.
5/11/2012 Recap of Previous Week's Activities: Continued framing and installing the metal roofs and ceilings at the three south canopies; Excavation in the north east quadrant of project; Misc electrical work, including south pedestrian tunnel canopy lighting; Installing store front windows at SE stairwell and at the 3 north canopies; Sidewalk and curb work around the south pedestrian tunnel structure;Began stage 1 removals of the north platform. Work planned for this week: On May 10, the contractor began excavating old Belmont Road north of the tracks starting at 4923 Belmont (Miller's Plumbing). As the excavation proceeds north and crosses driveway entrances, the driveways will be inaccessible between 7:00am - 3:30pm. The contractor will notify residents the day prior to the excavation to allow the residents to park on old Belmont Rd. in the work zone north of their property. The contractor plans to cross each driveway one at a time to minimize the disturbance. At the end of each day, the driveway will be re-established on temporary aggregate and will be accessible from the south. Other planned work for the week includes:
- Excavate and install subgrade for northbound Belmont;
- Install drainage for northeast ramp and northbound Belmont;
- Landscape south of tracks and south parking lots;
- Install Foundations for north boarding platforms;
- Continue work on the south pedestrian tunnel and the south stairwells
With work progressing as it is, it is possible the new pedestrian tunnel could be opened in late June or early July.
4/27/2012 Work during previous week: Continued framing and installing the metal roofs at the three south canopies; Continued brick and cast stone work at the south pedestrian tunnel canopy; Installed parking lot lighting on the southeast parking lot ; Installed new traffic signal foundations on Belmont at Prairie; Installed concrete parking lot islands; Prepared additional parking and driveway areas for paving. Work planned for this week: Continue excavation north of the tracks; Continue work on the south pedestrian tunnel and the south stairwells; The Contractor anticipates that the new pedestrian tunnel could be opened in late June or early July.
3/19/2012 Effective Thursday, March 22, 2012, 30 parking spaces will be taken out of service from the southeast corner of the southwest lot, affecting Lot H parking. This is necessary in order to complete the driveway connecting Belmont Road to Lot H. Flyers will be posted on vehicles parked in the affected spaces. Permit holders displaced by this portion of the project may park in the overflow lot located on Chase Avenue. Daily parking customers must allow time to find an available space in any of the pay lots.
12/22/2011 Work completed recently includes: Installing miscellaneous landscaping and silt fence; Installing roofing, soffits, gutters, downspouts, HVAC units, garage door and intrusion & fire alarm systems at the Pump Station; Installing North Canopy gutters, downspouts and glass storefronts. Anticipated date for Belmont Road to be open to four-lanes of traffic is some time in June of 2012.
10/21/2011 Metra has announced that the underpass will be open to two lanes of traffic on Wednesday, October 26. Crews took advantage of a break in the recent rainy weather to begin paving the roadway. The closure of the intersection of Hitchcock and Belmont is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25th. Hitchcock will be closed to traffic for 2 to 3 weeks in order to begin lowering the elevation of Hitchcock to meet the new Belmont Road profile.
9/30/2011 The underpass is planned to be open to two lanes of traffic beginning October 15. The paving of Haddow, the northwest ramp and Belmont (north of the underpass) was completed last week. Excavation continues on the south side of the underpass.
9/6/2011 The majority of concrete curb and gutter has been placed along Haddow and grading is planned for next week. Paving of Haddow, Belmont north of the tracks and the northwest ramp is planned for the week of 9/12. The water main on Haddow has been lowered, chlorinated, pressure tested and placed back in service.
The Belmont Road underpass is planned to be open to two lanes of traffic beginning October 15.
8/12/2011 The Belmont Station will be taken out of service on Saturday, August 13, 2011 to facilitate the completion of track relocation and platform work. Haddow Avenue, west of Belmont Road, is being lowered approximately three feet (3') to meet the new pavement elevation for Belmont Road.
The first stage of this work was completed last week with the lowering of an existing water line on the south side of the street. The contractor completed pavement lowering on the south side of tracks and construction of the new driveway entrance of the commuter parking lot this week. The lowering of the north side will begin the week of August 15.
At the time that school begins, it is planned that the roadway regrading will be complete and backfilled with stone. Final paving will likely occur the last week of August. Metra's construction manager has met with the principal of Puffer School to review the schedule.
5/5/2011 Due to track work, train service will not operate from the Belmont Station on Saturday, May 7, 2011. Commuters who board at Belmont should consider using the Downers Grove Main Street station located at 5001 Main Street or the Lisle station located at 1000 Front Street.
Starting Monday, May 9, the east half of the inbound platform at the Belmont Road station will be closed for up to eight weeks to accommodate construction associated with the Belmont Road grade separation project. Passengers will be boarding from temporary platforms on the west half of the inbound side.
Metra issued a map to commuters to show the platform locations and pedestrian traffic routes. Please allow extra time to accomodate these changes.
4/26/2011 Track 2 will be taken out of service on April 29, 2011 and shifted to its final position on the new bridge, and reopened on May 6, 2011. During this time, Belmont Road will need to be closed to allow for the installation of road crossing panels for permanent Track 2 through the temporary road crossing. Belmont Rd is scheduled to be closed on April 29 at 7:00 PM and reopened for the morning rush hour (6:00 AM) on Monday, May 2, 2011.
Beginning on Monday, May 2, 2011 approximately 100 permit parking spaces will be relocated from Lot H to allow construction activity related to the pedestrian underpass and the new access to the lot from Belmont. Appproximately 25 metered spaces along the south side of the lot will be converted to permit spaces. An additional 75 permit spaces will be offered at the Rexnord facility, 2234 Curtiss St. (Parking lot is off of Chase Ave.) Parking customers will be informed of these changes by fliers the week of April 25.
4/8/2011 Progress continued on the Belmont Underpass this week as the contractor began setting the tracks on the bridge sections so that construction of the new, lowered road section can begin. The plan is to have two lanes of traffic open under the completed bridge section by October 2011.
To accomplish this work the following upcoming work items are planned:
- Track 1 was taken out of service on the weekend of 4/2/11, and eight temporary boarding platforms were erected. Track 1 will remain out of service until 4/29/11, when it will be reopened on the new bridge.
- The erected, steel bridge sections that will support Tracks 1 and 2 were set on April 6th and 7th. Several members of the Council, the Transportation and Parking Commission and Village staff observed this work, which involved a 120' tall crane. These bridge sections will provide the structural support for the three tracks over the soon to be constructed roadway underpass.
- Track 2 will be taken out of service on April 29, 2011 and shifted to its final position on the new bridge, and reopened on May 6, 2011. During this time, Belmont Road will need to be closed to allow for the installation of road crossing panels for permanent Track 2 through the temporary road crossing. Belmont Rd is scheduled to be closed on April 29 at 7:00 PM and reopened for the morning rush hour (6:00 AM) on Monday, May 2nd. Temporary message boards will be placed two weeks in advance of the closure.
- The BNSF Railroad has agreed to allow the Track 2 crossing panel to remain in its current location at the temporary Belmont crossing. This will eliminate the need for an additional weekend closure of Belmont Road in August.
Track 3 is scheduled to be taken out of service on May 7th for the construction of the south third of the railroad bridge and south stairwells. Track 3 is scheduled to be reopened on August 5, 2011 on the new bridge. The reconstruction of the south boarding platform will be accomplished when Track 3 is out of service.
12/17/2010 BNSF has scheduled a safety blitz for 12/20/10, to inform commuters about the dangers of crossing the pedestrian crossing while the lights and bells are still active. The blitz is scheduled from 5:30AM to 8:30AM and from 4:00PM to 7:30PM, peak commuting hours.
Work is scheduled to stop the week of December 20th through the week of January 3rd. Work will resume in January and continue through the winter for construction of bridge substructure work only. No roadway work is scheduled to occur until next spring.
9/27/2010 Extra signs at the existing pedestrian crossing were put up on 9/17. Also, the yellow edge line on the south platform was re-striped.
Storm sewer work north of Prairie on the west side of Belmont should be completed by October 1. Curb, gutter and sidewalks at this location will be replaced in the near future.
The right-of-way in front of Puffer School is to be graded and temporarily landscaped in the near future.
9/7/2010 Construction of a storm sewer on the west side of Belmont has been limiting visibility, causing traffic back-ups when the crossing gates are down and making it difficult for motorists on Haddow to turn on Belmont. Metra has agreed to stripe and sign the intersection on Belmont as “Do Not Block Intersection”.
8/20/2010 The crossing has been opened since August 13. Traffic will remain one way in each direction for the duration of the project. Work continues and the overall project is about 6% complete.
7/30/2010 Construction of a temporary sidewalk along the west side of the empty property at the northwest corner of Belmont and Burlington is underway and will continue next week. It will provide access between the northwest parking lot and the boarding platforms. Belmont Road at the tracks will remain closed through August 12. Please follow all posted detours.
7/27/2010 The Belmont Road crossing will close to vehicular traffic on, July 28, 2010, at 5am and reopen on Thursday, August 12, 2010. Haddow Ave. and Hitchcock Ave. will be open to local traffic. For traffic crossing the tracks, the detour route is IL Route 53 to Ogden Avenue. In addition, one-day closings are also scheduled:
Saturday, July 31, 2010
The inbound (south) platform will be closed for one day only. Trains will be adjusted to pick up passengers on the north platform.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Belmont Road Station will be closed to all passengers for one day only. Passengers will be redirected to the Lisle and Main Street Stations.
7/20/2010 With the laborer’s strike nearing resolution, Metra has indicated that the two week closure of Belmont Road at the BNSF crossing is now scheduled for 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday July 28, 2010. The crossing will be reopened to traffic on August 12th on or before 5:00 a.m.
7/2/2010 Due to the construction strike, work has stopped. According to reports from Metra, the two week closure of Belmont Road has been postponed from July 7 to July 14, pending resolution of the strike. It is unclear at this time how long the strike will continue and updates will be provided .
6/29/2010 Belmont Rd. will be closed at the grade crossing from July 7-21, 2010. All Belmont commuter lots will be accessible during construction.
- For through traffic, the detour will be Maple/Route 53/Ogden.
- For local traffic, there will be access to Haddow (for northwest lots), to Hitchcock (for southeast lot) and to Curtiss (southwest lot).
- Lot H will be accessible via Curtiss St. and Chase Ave.
6/23/2010 Belmont Rd. will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles on Wednesday 7/7/10, around 5:00AM and reopening it at 5:00AM on 7/21/10. This is a change in date.
6/11/2010 Work is in progress on the stormwater pump station on the east side of Belmont and will continue for the next two weeks. As a reminder, Belmont Road will be closed to all traffic for two weeks beginning July 6.
5/3/2010 On Monday, May 3 at 10am, the traffic signal at Warren and Belmont will be taken out of commission and removed. All commuter parking between Pershing and Belmont (approximately 40 metered spaces) and 25 permit spaces between Belmont and Puffer will be removed from service.
Warren Ave. (between Pershing and Belmont) and Burlington Avenue (between Puffer and Belmont) will be closed to through traffic for the duration of the project. Alternate traffic routes will be in place directing traffic to Woodward Avenue and Prairie Avenue, and Chase and Haddow respectively.
4/23/2010 Effective Monday, May 3, 2010, Belmont Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Haddow Ave. and Curtiss St. Work to complete the temporary runaround roadway on the east side of Belmont Road will begin. Message boards will be posted to alert motorists to this change, which will remain in effect for the duration of the project.
Warren Ave. will be closed at Belmont from May 3 through July 7, 2010. An alternate traffic route will be in place directing traffic to Prairie and Woodward Avenue during this period.
The two-week closure of the tracks at Belmont Ave. is scheduled for July 6, 2010.
3/26/2010 Metra conducted a preconstruction meeting with Lorig Construction. A delay in the project award has resulted in discussions between BNSF and Metra about changes to the construction schedule.
Phase II construction is likely to begin around the middle of June, with a two-week closure of Belmont Avenue beginning the last week of June.