Some disabled passengers have been forced to take taxis to nearby stations just to get on trains passing through Billingham.
But now money from the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), Stockton Borough Council and Network Rail will allow work to take place between March and November next year.
Detailed design work for the new footbridge, lifts and car park facilities is now underway with Network Rail at the helm.
Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has welcomed the earlier start date after initial concerns the revamp would not be finished until 2023.
The Labour MP said: “While it’s still some time off, the end of 2022 gives us a time to aim for.
“I’ll continue to hold Network Rail to account and press them to carry out the work as quickly as they can to ensure everyone can access Billingham Station.
“It is simply not on that a train station in the 21st Century doesn’t have step-free access to its platforms.
“Local people and councillors have been campaigning with me on this issue for a number of years and it is through this effort that we are finally seeing Billingham get the funding it needs to become step-free.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has signed off £1m from the TVCA to revamp disabled access.
He said: “This funding will allow us to install new lifts and improve access points to make sure no one is being left behind and make the station a real option for people like wheelchair users.”