Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

CHICAGO – Metra representatives broke ground on a new train station at 79th Street and South Lowe Avenue this Monday morning after State Senator Jacqueline Collins successfully secured state funding for the facility.

Speaking during a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of the planned station in the northeastern part of the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, Collins said the station represents a new investment in the community.

“Today, I join with my neighbors, other elected officials and many civic leaders in looking forward with joy and hope to the construction and opening of the new station,” Collins said. “I sincerely believe that in years to come we will view this investment as a turning point in the renewal of this Southside neighborhood, whose flourishing will enrich us all.”

The facility at Auburn Park has been in the planning stages for years, with Metra originally seeking to fund it with proceeds from two state bond programs from 2009. However, that funding was held up in the state’s budget woes and then cut in 2017. Since funding was restored with Collins’ help, the state has released $20 million for the new station’s construction.

The project’s design phase is expected to be finished by the end of 2019, with bidding to begin in 2020.