Desplaines Valley News
From staff reports
February 18, 2015
The village of Willow Springs has announced plans to construct a new parking lot at the Willow Springs Metra stop.
The new lot will be constructed in the space adjacent to the Willow Springs Village Hall, directly behind the existing Metra platform along Willow Boulevard.
This new commuter lot will provide Metra riders with more parking availability and flexibility, as well as increased rider safety and convenience. Commuters currently have to park across from the stop and must walk under Willow Springs Road in order to catch trains.
“Not only does this mean a more convenient and safe commute for our residents, but it will also save the village money since the lot will be constructed on land that the village already owns,” said Mayor Alan Nowaczyk. “It’s a win-win for the village and commuters alike.”
For the past 20 years, the village has rented the parking lot along the Cal-Sag Channel from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The lease expired at the end of 2014, and the village is taking advantage of the opportunity to reconfigure parking at the stop.
Willow Springs Village Trustee Kathy Stanphill, who commutes daily using Metra, said she was excited to see the project come to fruition.
“As a daily Metra commuter and Willow Springs resident, I’m thrilled to support this project,” she said. “The lot will provide a convenient and safe place for commuters to park during the day and overflow parking for our town center businesses, such as the highly popular Imperial Oak Brewery, at night.
“With Metra ridership increasing, it is my hope we can attract more riders to catch the train in Willow Springs who will then see all of the great things our village has to offer, including the forest preserve trails and great restaurants.”
Construction of the new lot will be paid for with reserve funds previously allocated for repaving the existing lot. Commuter parking fees will also pay for the installation of additional lighting and landscaping.
“This is consistent with our ‘pay as you go’ road paving program, which is funded through sales tax revenues devoted strictly to road repairs and reconstruction,” said Nowaczyk. “As with our major road paving project in 2014, money that is spent in Willow Springs is being invested back into Willow Springs to provide for greater resident services and amenities.”
Fifty additional parking spaces are planned for the new lot, in addition to the 23 spaces in the existing lot along Willow Boulevard. Work is expected to begin in the spring when asphalt plants open.