Cary officials have approved an intergovernmental agreement with Metra to push forward a long-awaited upgrade to the village’s more than 50-year-old Metra station.
At a special meeting Wednesday, the board unanimously voted to finalize the agreement with Metra. The rail authority now will vote on the same agreement at its May 9 meeting, Cary officials said.
The agreement represents the final step from a “paperwork standpoint,” Village Administrator Jake Rife said.
“The next step for [Metra] would be to award that bid, but before they do that, the village and Metra both need to have an intergovernmental agreement to establish the next steps and the responsibilities of both Metra and the village moving forward from construction and then on through maintenance and operation of the station,” Cary Public Works Director Eric Morimoto said.
The Village Board also approved Cary’s contribution to construction costs, which officials have said is not to exceed $375,000.
Station improvements are estimated to cost a total of $3.2 million. Of that cost, Metra will pay $2.3 million with a federal grant that it obtained and announced in 2014 as part of its capital improvement plans.
Pulling money from its parking budget, the village of Cary is estimated to be on the hook for $893,624 of project costs, according to village documents.
The most expensive part of the project accounts for pedestrian crossing signals and a ramp, estimated to cost $290,000. AT&T crews now are relocating the station’s fiber optics, a project estimated to cost $137,732.
Construction is expected to begin in the late summer or early fall, Morimoto said.
The board approved a contract in December with Muller and Muller Ltd. of Chicago for procurement and construction services.
The Cary Metra station improvement plan first was announced in November 2014.
The village is planning to build a fully enclosed building and ticket agency facility on the inbound side of the track, as well as to demolish the existing building on the outbound side of the tracks.
An added warming shelter will replace the current “windbreaks,” Metra has said.
This project will relocate the station to the west side, or inbound side, of the railroad.