A new project is getting underway to bring major improvements to the busiest station on the MetroLink light rail system, the Central West End MetroLink Station.
The $7.5 million enhancements are being funded by Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare, in partnership with Metro Transit. The goal is to relieve congestion at the station as well as to improve safety and visibility.
The project is expected to take about a year to complete.
“For MetroLink riders traveling to and from the Medical Campus, the updates to the Central West End station will enhance safety, security and accessibility, while also helping people who get on and off the train at our stop feel welcome,” said Melissa Rockwell-Hopkins, assistant vice chancellor and assistant dean for Operations and Facilities Management at Washington University School of Medicine. “We’re excited to be working again with BJC HealthCare and Metro Transit to improve the experience of riders in the region, including that of our students, employees, patients and visitors.”
“The Central West End Station is a busy doorway to the medical campus for patients, families, employees and students,” said June Fowler, BJC senior vice president of communications, marketing and public affairs. “As a nonprofit health care provider, BJC fully recognizes the value of public-private partnerships in serving our communities and we are pleased to once again support St. Louis transit improvements that will benefit the region, in partnership with the medical school and Metro.”
“The Central West End Station is our busiest station with more than 4,300 riders boarding trains there every weekday. Those passengers and future riders will benefit from the improvements, which include new access control that will create a safer and more convenient transit experience through secure, monitored entry and exit points,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and Chief Executive Officer. “The station improvements and amenities would not be possible without the funding and partnership of BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine.”
Station redesign details:
– New, monitored entrance/exit at the street level from Euclid Avenue on the west end of the station featuring a welcome center at the top of the stairs that lead down to the MetroLink platform
– A new, wider staircase with a center handrail connecting the new Euclid Avenue entrance/exit to the platform to better accommodate passengers
– Relocating the elevator on the station platform to relieve congestion
– New, upgraded platform lighting
– An expanded canopy to cover 70 percent of the MetroLink platform. The current canopy covers 30 percent of the MetroLink platform.
– Safety improvements including a speed bump, stop sign, and new lighting at the entry to the MetroBus area of the garage which connects to the east entrance/exit of the platform.
“The Central West End Station is one of five stations on the MetroLink system recently included in the MetroLink Access Project, which was launched to improve rider safety by better controlling access to MetroLink platforms,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, executive director of Metro Transit. “This station redesign allows us to reinforce these efforts and create a more secure transit environment for our riders.”
Metro Transit Security Specialists and contracted security guards will check fares and monitor MetroLink riders as they arrive at the modified MetroLink platform access points.
“By incorporating new infrastructure like fencing, lighting and signage along with other customer amenities, we are able to modify the physical design of the Central West End MetroLink Station to create more secure access and provide our customers and our partners, including BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine, with a safe and comfortable transit experience,” said Stephen Berry, general manager of public safety at Metro Transit.
Transit operations during construction
Construction at the Central West End MetroLink Station is underway. The MetroLink platform will remain open during construction, but the elevator at the west end of the station will be closed for demolition and reconstruction beginning on Thursday, Dec. 26.
Throughout the project, temporary modifications and closures will be made to the station entrances/exits to enable MetroLink riders to safely access the MetroLink platform. Advance notice will be provided for MetroLink riders if temporary platform closures or service interruptions are required.