Metra/UPRR North Line and Ravenswood Station

RS&H served as a significant subconsultant to Walsh Construction Company for the reconstruction of the UPRR North Line and construction of a new Ravenswood Station. Metra, a commuter rail agency in the Chicago area, tasked Walsh Construction to complete the project as a performance-based design. This differs from traditional design-build in that the contractor is given detailed specifications and concept drawings, then employs subconsultants as needed to complete the design while construction is ongoing. RS&H’s extensive experience with design-build projects offered numerous benefits to this project, such as assisting with the procurement of steel for the earth retention system required for construction of the bridges. In addition, when the station location was moved from north of Lawrence Avenue to south of Lawrence Avenue, RS&H efficiently adapted to this revision and investigated the ramifications to the station design.

The UPRR North Line reconstruction consisted of demolishing and reconstructing 11 railroad bridges and the associated drainage connection to the existing storm sewer system. The existing tracks were 13 feet and six inches apart with the west track approximately aligned with the railroad baseline. The completed tracks are 15 feet apart and shifted to the western edge of the railroad right-of-way. RS&H designed the temporary earth retention systems necessary to construct the bridge foundations, as well as approximately 6,100 total linear feet of soldier beam and precast panel retaining walls at 11 different locations throughout the entire length of the project. The team adjusted the retaining walls and grades to minimize impacts to existing landscaping. The removed embankment material was re-used as fill in the final condition.

RS&H also provided civil and structural design for Metra’s new Ravenswood Station. The unique station uses a two-span railroad bridge as its roof structure. The single voided precast prestressed concrete beams will be supported by cast-in place concrete piers and abutment supported by 5-foot diameter drilled concrete shafts socketed into bedrock approximately 80 feet below grade. Pier One was designed to also support the bearings from the steel through girder bridge over Lawrence Avenue. RS&H designed canopy and warming shelters at the platform level; the station also has bicycle racks for commuters beneath the Leland Avenue Bridge. Due to poor soil conditions, the platforms, canopies, shelters, stairs, and ramps will use steel pile supported grade beams. An elaborate system of sheet pile walls connected with tie-rods was used to facilitate the phased construction of the station. At all times, two tracks remained in operation for the weekday commuters with some single track weekends to facilitate construction.

Project Details

Description Transportation
Transit & Rail
Location Chicago, IL
Client Walsh Construction Company
Owner Northeastern Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation, D/B/A Metra
Construction Value $67M (Estimated)


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