Elmhurst, IL — The City of Elmhurst was recently awarded $10 million in grant funding through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program to assist in improvements for the Elmhurst Metra Station.
The request for grant assistance was reviewed and allocated by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) with a mission to provide funding to assist with improving transit, roads, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities by reducing congesting, improving air quality, and enhancing non-motorized transportation.
The Elmhurst Metra Station is the busiest stop on the Union Pacific West line and the seventh busiest station out of Metra’s entire network of 236 stations. The Elmhurst Metra Station has more than 2,300 weekday boardings with a projected thirty percent increase in ridership in the next twenty years. The proposed improvements will not only provide needed capacity increases at the train station, and improve the commuter experience, but also improve multi-model transit accessibility to it and around it.
In the spring of 2016, the Elmhurst City Council selected CDM Smith (through an RFQ process) for Architectural and Phase I Engineering services to evaluate and make recommendations for the Elmhurst Metra Station and surrounding site. Community and commuter feedback were collected through two public workshops and an online survey. The City has worked closely with IDOT, the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and Metra. The public input and various agency comments were used to identify appropriate improvements and to develop the proposed final project.
The Elmhurst Metra Station Improvement Project will include the construction of new inbound and outbound stations and warming shelters to expand commuter-waiting areas. A new pedestrian tunnel is proposed at York Street to provide a mid-platform crossing for commuters and a pedestrian by-pass at a busy crossing in downtown Elmhurst. ADA access improvements are needed for all areas of the station campus. Dedicated bus and vehicular drop off zones are proposed to reduce traffic congestion during peak hours. Increased bike parking and improved pedestrian crossings and sidewalks are proposed to provide safer routes to the new station(s) and warming shelters. The improvements also create more green space, reducing storm water runoff.
The CMAQ Grant funding of $10 million dollars will provide a portion of need funds to complete the project. The City of Elmhurst continues to apply for additional grant funding to leverage City dollars. Phase II Engineering is budgeted in 2018 with construction anticipated to begin in 2019.
The City sincerely thanks all of the involved agencies, elected officials and the public for their support of this important improvement project.