New Metra/Amtrak platforms open
Karen Sorensen | 9/24/2014, 4:03 p.m.
The next big step in the Joliet Gateway Center project comes Friday, when Metra and Amtrak rail services move from the existing Union Station platforms to the ones new built for the Rock Island and Heritage line.
The switch occurs at 10 a.m. All trains arriving and departing before that time will use the old platform. All trains arriving and departing after that time will use the new platforms.
The new platform for the Rock Island Metra line is at Mayor Art Schultz Drive and Eastern Avenue. An ADA accessible elevator, set of stairs and handicapped parking are located at the east end of the platform and a second set of stairs is located on the west end.
Heritage Corridor Metra and Amtrak passengers will catch their trains at a platform located at the northeast corner of Mayor Art Schultz Drive and Jefferson Street. A set of stairs, an ADA-compliant ramp and a wheelchair lift will provide access.
Tickets for Amtrak and Metra will no longer be sold out of Union Station as of Saturday for the former and Monday for the latter.
The temporary Metra ticket office will open at 4:45 a.m. Monday on the east side of Mayor Art Schultz Drive, south of Jefferson Street. The temporary Amtrak station will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the northeast corner of Mayor Art Schultz Drive and Jefferson Street.
Eventually both will be moved to the new train station, which is to be built at the southwest corner of Mayor Art Schultz Drive and Jefferson Street and will be open in summer 2016.
The existing Union Station tunnel will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The newly reconstructed commuter parking lot, located on the north side of the new Rock Island platform, will also open for use on Friday. The lot, which costs $1 a day, can be accessed from the south side of Jefferson Street, just east of Mayor Art Schultz Drive.
For more information on the Joliet Gateway Center project, go to www.jolietgatewaycenter.com or to the city of Joliet's Web site, www.cityofjoliet.info. Commuters who want automated notifications can sign up there.
Contact Karen Sorensen at Karen@TheTimesWeekly.com.