Metra’s Homewood Station tunnel closure set for March 13 as rehab project begins

Publication Date
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Metra will be closing access to the tunnel on the east side of Homewood Station on March 13 as work begins on the rehabilitation of the entire station. Metra Electric Line and Amtrak riders at Homewood will need to park and board from the west side of the station throughout the project, which is expected to take until summer 2024. 

In preparation for construction, Pace will relocate its bus stop from the east side of the tracks (Harwood Avenue) to the west side of the tracks (Park Avenue) beginning March 6. Riders who use Pace bus routes 356 and 359 will be affected. The bus stop relocation will be in effect until the project is complete. A notice with specific information for riders can be found here.

The station rehabilitation includes the construction of a new, ADA-accessible headhouse on the east side as well as the installation of new drainage, ventilation, lighting, and interior finishes in the existing tunnel, which dates to 1911, and replacement of the elevator connecting the tunnel to the platform. The project also includes a ramp as well as the renovation of the platform, wind breaks, warming house, and gatehouse. A new Pace bus facility, including a drive aisle, three bus slips, a covered waiting area, and driver relief facilities, is also part of the project.

The Metra Board of Directors awarded a $14.5 million contract in October 2022 to renovate the Homewood Station. The contract was awarded to IHC Construction of Elgin, which committed to subcontract 30% of the work to DBE firms.

To fund the project, Homewood and Metra successfully pursued federal Shared Transportation Program (STP) funds and were awarded $9.25 million. Local matching funds were provided as required to secure the discretionary grant with funding support from the RTA, Pace, Cook County, and other sources.

Metra’s Homewood Station 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 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.