If you live near the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks in Riverside and Brookfield — heck, even if you don’t — you may want to sleep with the windows closed at the end of the month.
On Friday, Metra announced that the two-week-long project to replace 20,000 railroad ties and surface 17 miles of track from Chicago to Hinsdale will begin April 14 and end on May 2.
The work is unrelated to the grade-crossing improvements made at the Longcommon Road crossing in Riverside last weekend.
Metra is warning commuters that some midday and evening trains will experience delays, but rush hour trains should not be affected very much. Metra has posted construction schedules on its website.
[Here is the link: https://metrarail.com/content/dam/metra/documents/BNSFConstruction04142014.pdf].
In addition to disrupting some commutes on the Metra line, the work also may interrupt sleep for those who live near the tracks. That’s because almost all of the work will be done at night — between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. — six days a week.
Tie gangs, using heavy equipment the railroad describes as “noisy,” will methodically move down the rail line, replacing the ties and surfacing the track.
“The work equipment is noisy and all passing trains will be whistling for men and equipment,” said Brian Soyk, BNSF’s suburban service manager, in an April 3 email to the municipalities.
There may also be grade-crossing closures during the project, some possibly “for days at a time while the gang does work in the area,” said Soyk.
The good news is that the tie gang is supposed to be in Riverside on just one day, April 23, and in Brookfield over the course of two days, April 23 and 24. The work dates are tentative and could change, Soyk said.
“We will be working closely with our signal department … to minimize the impact of crossing closures as much as possible,” Soyk said.