A long-anticipated project to repair the clay tile roof on Riverside’s landmark downtown train station will finally move ahead early in 2017 now that the village board has awarded a contract for the work.

On Nov. 17, as part of the board’s omnibus agenda, trustees voted to award an $886,190 contract to Bennett and Brousseau Roofing Inc. of Romeoville to replace the century-old tile roof.

Plans call for the company to replace about 60 percent of the existing tiles and reuse 40 percent. All of the clay tile ridges, finials and hip tiles will be replaced. According to village officials, the station’s new clay tiles will be authentic, because the company that produced the existing tiles, the Ludowici Roof Tile Company, is still in business and can manufacture exact replicas of the train station tiles.

In addition, Bennett and Brousseau Roofing will replace and paint deteriorated roof decking, soffit and fascia and install new copper flashing, gutters and downspouts.

The village received four bids for the work; Bennett and Brousseau was the low bidder. The bid process was handled by the Illinois Department of Transportation, because the majority of the work is being funded via a $757,560 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant, which was awarded in 2014 by then-Gov. Pat Quinn.

Riverside also received a grant from the Metra commuter rail service in an amount up to $173,500 to put toward the roof replacement program, which the village can put toward its required 20-percent share of the project cost. In the end, Riverside ought to responsible for about $100,000 of the total cost.

The roof replacement project has been in the works for a decade, but languished for lack of funding until 2014, when the state came through with its transportation grant. However, the work was delayed even longer because the state would not seek bids until Riverside secured a new lease agreement on the station with the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad.

The station is owned by the railroad, but Riverside is responsible for maintaining it. A new lease agreement was finalized in June.

Separately, Riverside in the spring received a $235,000 grant from the West Suburban Mass Transit District to complete additional platform repairs to the train station, including removal and reinstallation of brick pavers, replacing hand railings and repairing the concrete bases of columns that support the roof.

That work will happen in early 2017 in conjunction with the roof repairs.

A pre-construction meeting involving Riverside officials and representatives from Bennett and Brousseau will take place in January. 

It’s unclear exactly when work will start on the roof, but it can be done in cold weather. The contract calls for the work to be completed within 65 working days.

Village Manager Jessica Frances said commuters can expect some disruptions during construction; details will be released closer to beginning of the project. The work will be phased to minimize inconveniences, Frances said.