The village of Brookfield hopes to complete a project to replace the roof on the Prairie Avenue Metra station and spruce up elements of the building’s exterior later this month, but getting that work started will depend largely on cooperation from the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad.
Brookfield Public Works Director Carl Muell told the Landmark that the earliest the work would begin would be in late September. Before work can begin, however, the BNSF has to provide flaggers on the south train platform and the contractor has to provide proof of railroad liability insurance, both of which are required by Metra, Muell said.
Once the work begins, it should only take about a week to complete. Active work hours could vary, however, since flaggers stop work when commuter trains load and unload.
On Aug. 22, village trustees voted unanimously to award a $58,800 contract for the work to All American Exterior Solutions, of Lake Zurich, which was the lower of two bidders on the project. The firm’s bid was below the village engineer’s estimate of $65,000.
Half the cost for the project is being funded through a $30,000 grant from Metra.
Work includes tearing off and replacing the existing roof, as well as the building’s gutters and downspouts. The scope of work also includes repairing and repainting the deteriorated exterior wood trim as well as the cupola.
The station, which also houses Loca Mocha coffee shop, will remain open to commuters at all times during the work, Muell said.
“Once this work is done, we shouldn’t have to touch the station in a while,” Muell said.
The work rounds off a series of train station improvement projects in recent years, including last year’s upgrades to the train platforms as well as new signage and new sidewalks and crosswalks bordering the station area.
The station received a new heating and air-conditioning system in 2013 via grant funding and Loca Mocha moved into the space in 2017.
The Prairie Avenue Metra station work was slated to have been completed earlier this year, but in June the village board rejected the bids it received because of an administrative snafu that resulted in the low bidder turning in a bid that didn’t reflect all of the work the village wanted done on the building.