While downtown Elmhurst continues to boom and attract a wealth of restaurants, pubs, entertainment options, and outdoor space, the train station—the first structure that many see when entering the city—is deeply out of step.

That’s all about the change. The Elmhurst Metra station is one step closer to being fully funded prior to a complete overhaul expected to begin in summer 2019.

The city recently secured a $2.4 million grant from the Illinois Commerce Commission. This is in addition to the $10 million awarded last October by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning. In addition, the DuPage Mayor and Managers Conference has also pledged another $2 million through a separate federal funding program.

The project is expected to cost around $18 million and will replace or improve the current structure, last updated in the 1980s. Plans include a full facelift and facility overhaul. There will be new inbound and outbound stations with new waiting areas/warming shelters, a new pedestrian tunnel at York St. that is ADA compliant, drop-off lanes for buses and vehicles, increased bike parking, and improved pedestrian crossing and sidewalks.

A large clock tower will be erected on the north side of the tracks, providing a welcoming landmark to the city.

Many residents feel that the outdated facility doesn’t accurately reflect the city’s image while officials recognize that it is not prepared for the expected 30% uptick of riders in the next 20 years, as commuters are predicted to begin switching from car travel to mass transit.

Currently, the Elmhurst station is the busiest stop on the Union Pacific West line and the seventh busiest station out of the Metra’s 236 stations. It has more than 2,300 weekday riders.

The station’s overhaul will allow for better accessibility and address safety issues.

Chicago firm CDM Smith was hired for the project in 2016 and designed the proposed improvements. The next step is for the city to reach out to engineers for a second phase of studies for the project. That process will include a series of public meetings.

At The Gracik-Makinney Group, we love seeing the constant flow of improvements to our city. For more information about living here and loving it, call us at (630) 441-5570 or reach out through our website, www.gmregroup.com.