University Park Holds Kick-Off Event for Metra Electric Station

University Park Holds Kick-Off Event for Metra Electric Station
Veteran's Memorial Park


University Park Holds Kick-Off Event for Metra Electric Station (University Park, IL) — Village Officials in University Park today held a kick-off event in anticipation of a redesign of the current Metra Station in the Village.  Mayor Joseph E. Roudez, III along with village officials, and representatives from Metra and the Antero Group.

The project will seek and incorporate community and stakeholder input to create a proposed design to improve residents and riders experience and to better integrate the station into the surrounding area. Commuters have been faced with standing water, poor lighting, and deteriorating structures, which prompted the Village to pursue an application for funding through the Surface Transportation Program’s Shared-Fund. The funding is allocated through the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, who are providing $2.5 Million for the Phase I Engineering of the station. Locally, the funding is being administered through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

Mayor Roudez praised the work of staff and the Village’s engineering company The Antero Group, with securing the funding. “This project will result in the creation of preliminary construction documents for the reconstruction of the station once the Village’s funding strategy has been completed through a series of strategic and targeted grant applications.”

The proposed improvements will include:

  • Addressing the flooding and standing water riders encounter in the tunnels,
  • Walkway improvements,
  • ADA accessibility improvements,
  • Parking lot improvements,
  • Landscaping improvements, and other aesthetics and finally,
  • Transit related enhancements.

Village officials hope this renovation will increase ridership, provide access to jobs, and helps spur development in the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) area, which consists of the 0.5-mile radius of land surrounding the station. The Village also recently adopted a TOD Plan update, which highlights proposed development within the area surrounding the station attracting more commercial and residential mixed-use development.

“Overall, I’d just want to emphasize the economic development this project will continue to support and encourage, including hope for commercial and residential development in the area surrounding the station,” added Roudez.

The reconstruction of the station was identified as a priority project through the One Village: Strategic Plan and the One Village: Capital Improvement Plan during community workshops as well as through feedback collected from riders.

Noe Gallardo, the Legislative Affairs Administrator from Metra, expressed his excitement about seeing this project move forward and said he looks forward to the future stages of a groundbreaking and ribbon cutting after the design is complete.

The University Park Metra Station is the southern terminus of the Metra Electric line. This line serves as a regional collector for commuters coming from Will County, with some riders regularly commuting from as far south as Kankakee. The Metra station is surrounded by developable land, which presents a clear opportunity for the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).

Community feedback gathered through this planning efforts revealed that community members would like to see amenities like a coffee shop, bank, brewery, and restaurants within the station area. There is also an interest in creating a new mixed-use, pedestrian oriented district that is integrated with Governor State University’s campus and Gateway Industrial Park. These ideas can be advanced through the forthcoming TOD Plan update.

Roudez believes this project will add to the growing economic development happening in and around the Village. “If the proposed third airport focused on cargo transport happens, our Village will see the benefits of that in ways we cannot even imagine.”

University Park Holds Kick-Off Event for Metra Electric Station


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