If you’ve felt at all inconvenienced by summer roadwork in Brookfield this year, be comforted to know that your pain is about to be shared by a wider community come mid-June.
Starting June 14, the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad will begin a long-scheduled project to raise the tracks at the Prairie Avenue grade crossing three inches – those heavy freight cars and commuter trains take their toll apparently.
That project, according to Village Planner Emily Egan, is expected to take about two weeks, during which time the grade crossing will be closed to vehicular traffic.
On either side of the grade crossing, signs will direct motorists to the detour routes, along Brookfield and Burlington avenues to the Maple Avenue grade crossing.
The grade crossing will reopen to traffic after the BNSF completes their work, but the area in and around the Prairie Avenue train station will remain under construction until at least early July.
“We hope to be substantially completed before the Fourth of July,” Egan said.
Back in March, the village board awarded a $288,600 contract to Copenhaver Construction to complete improvements to the north and south platforms at the commuter rail station as well as installing new sidewalks along both sides of Prairie Avenue immediately north and south of the grade crossing.
The improvements also include installing new high-visibility crosswalks across Brookfield and Burlington avenues on both sides of Prairie Avenue, new brick paver corner bump-outs and extending the raised median on Brookfield Avenue east of Prairie to create a pedestrian refuge in the middle of that wide, dangerous crosswalk.
Installation of the high-visibility crosswalks may result in Burlington and Brookfield avenues being closed for short periods of time, Egan said.
About 65 percent of the streetscape and station improvements are being funded through a grant from the West Suburban Mass Transit District.
Later this year, the village will install new covered bike shelters at both the Prairie Avenue and Congress Park train stations. One shelter will be located near the kiss-and-ride turnaround on Burlington Avenue near the south entrance to the Prairie Avenue Metra station.
The other will be installed east of the Congress Park tunnel on Burlington Avenue. The bike shelters are being funded by grants totaling more than $235,000 from the Regional Transportation Authority and the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.