Metra breaks ground on $14.5 million renovation of Homewood Station along Metra Electric Line

May 15, 2023
The work includes the construction of a new, ADA-accessible east headhouse, the renovation of the platform, wind breaks, warming house, and gatehouse and construction of a new Pace bus facility.

Metra, Homewood and other officials broke ground on May 11 on the $14.5 million renovation of the Homewood Station along the Metra Electric Line.

The work includes the construction of a new, ADA-accessible east headhouse, including a ramp; the renovation of the platform, wind breaks, warming house, and gatehouse; installation of new drainage, ventilation, lighting, and interior finishes in the existing tunnel and replacement of the elevator connecting the tunnel to the platform. Also included is the construction of a new Pace bus facility, including three bus bays, a covered waiting area and driver relief facilities.

“This work represents a significant improvement for our Homewood customers and is part of a significant investment by Metra into its stations, particularly its stations on the Metra Electric Line,” said Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “With the help of our funding partners, we will be making this station more functional and welcoming for My Metra riders.”

“Improving accessibility and passenger convenience are priorities for Pace,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger. “We are thrilled to get this project underway with our partners at Metra and in Homewood. Our passengers will soon benefit from easier connections, more comfortable facilities and more efficient service as we build back ridership and innovate to meet the new and changing needs of those we serve.”

The Metra project follows a significant investment by Amtrak to rehab its part of the shared facility. That work added an enclosed ramp on the west side of the tracks, allowing all customers to access the tunnel under the tracks to both the Amtrak and the Metra train platform; other ADA improvements to the unique former Illinois Central Railroad station (built in 1923), including the waiting areas and restrooms and a level path between the building, parking and the stairway/ramp entrance to the tunnel.

 The Homewood project is part of the Metra Electric Community Initiative, a transformative, multiyear plan to renovate and make accessible 13 stations on the Metra Electric Line through the south side and south suburbs. The work, expected to take about 24 months, will be performed by IHC Construction of Elgin, which committed to subcontract 30 percent of the work to DBE firms.

“The Homewood Station project – supported by federal funding from the regional Surface Transportation Program, which CMAP administers – is an investment toward inclusive growth for communities in the south suburbs and Chicago’s south side, for greater accessibility and for getting people to where they need to go throughout the region,” said Erin Aleman, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).

Total construction costs are $20.7 million. Construction is being funded with $9.25 million in federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds administered by CMAP through its STP Shared Fund program, $6.5 million in Federal Transit Administration formula funding $2.3 million in Regional Transportation Authority bonds, $2.1 million from Pace and $300,000 from Cook County’s Invest in Cook program. A contribution of $116,000 from Homewood was used to help cover design costs.