The village of Brookfield will make upgrades to the area in and around the Prairie Avenue train station on the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks next year after winning a grant from the West Suburban Mass Transit District.
Last week, the district awarded Brookfield $130,000 to complete a host of upgrades on both sides of the tracks that will address accessibility, prolong the life of the train station and beautify the area.
The entire cost of the project, which will break ground in 2017, is about $197,000. The village of Brookfield will contribute about $60,000 to the cost of the effort.
“It’ll be really important to renew the station for the next generation of Brookfield residents,” said Nicholas Greifer, the village director of community and economic development.
The Prairie Avenue train station accommodates about 605 commuters daily, about 50 percent of whom walk to the platform. The last time significant upgrades were done to the train platform were back in 2006, a project also funded by the West Suburban Mass Transit District and Metra.
Brookfield applied for the latest grant from the mass transit district in March. According to the grant application, the improvements that will be tackled with the $130,000 award include tuck-pointing the Metra station, installing bike racks and trash/recycling receptacles on both sides of the tracks, installing new concrete to eliminate trip hazards and make the station more handicapped-accessible, install new planters near the Metra station and place new benches inside the Metra station.
“I think they’re all nice components to the overall project, but just getting it more ADA compliant, eliminating trip hazards and extending the useful life of the station itself are all important,” Greifer said.
Brookfield had pitched a two-phase program to the West Suburban Mass Transit District and had requested about $280,000 in grant funding. The second phase outlined in the grant application would have included some significant alterations to the streetscape at the Prairie/Grand/Brookfield intersection.
Those improvements entailed brick crosswalks and brick-paved curb bump-outs to shorten crosswalks and increase pedestrian safety. Taken as a whole, the grant application was a pilot program for what Greifer has pitched to the village board as a “complete streets” policy that ensures all streetscape and road improvements consider not just vehicular traffic, but pedestrians, handicapped accessibility, bicycles and mass transit.
While the West Suburban Mass Transit District deferred action on the Phase 2 improvements proposed by the village, Greifer said he’ll likely re-approach the district later this fall with an amended application.
“This would be a nice early implementation of the complete streets policy,” said Greifer.
The Brookfield Village Board voted unanimously to approve a complete streets policy at its meeting on May 23.