Repairs to the Metra railroad tracks will close all four lanes of Dempster Street in Morton Grove starting Saturday, Oct. 5 and reopening Sunday, Oct. 13.
Metra Spokesman Mike Gillis confirmed the closure and said the whole crossing will be replaced, including new tracks and a smoother crossing for motorists. He said patchwork fixes were done in recent years, but the crossing is due for a “routine overhaul.”
The crossing is just east of Waukegan Road but west of Linne Woods Forest Preserve and the Edens Expressway.
Morton Grove is responsible for creating detours. Village Trustee Shel Marcus said the last traffic study he saw indicated that 65,000 cars per day drive through town on Dempster Street.
“This closure is an inconvenience, no doubt, but it has to be done,” Marcus said. “The track has gotten rough and they need something smoother.”
Vehicles traveling eastbound on Dempster Street will be diverted onto Lehigh Avenue until it dead-ends at the Beckwith Road tracks crossing, according to Marcus.
Beckwith Road is parallel to Dempster Street and has a number of residential streets, including Austin Avenue and Central Avenue, which can return commuters to Dempster.
Cars and trucks driving westbound will be diverted onto Ferris Avenue, which dead ends at a railroad crossing, Marcus said. Southbound Lehigh Avenue connects to that crossing and will take commuters to Oakton Street.
Marcus and other Morton Grove officials encourage drivers to plan ahead and drive Golf Road or Oakton Street instead of using the Dempster Street detour. Residents living on nearby side streets are also encouraged to be patient.
Commuters with questions about detours or alternate routes through Morton Grove can call Morton Grove Village Hall at (847) 965-4100.