Amtrak leads remodeling effort at Chicago’s Union Station
Representatives from Amtrak, Metra, Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Chicago Department of Transportation announced plans this week for renovation of Chicago’s historic transportation center, with London-based Arup providing design assistance.
Arup will lay out plans for expansion and widening of corridors, entrances, and platforms while ensuring Americans with Disabilities compliance and safety conformance.
“Chicago Union Station is an enormous asset to Amtrak as well as the city of Chicago,” Stephen Gardner, Amtrak’s chief of business development, said. “We are excited to begin this first phase … in collaboration with our partners. These efforts, combined with related efforts to advance new customer amenities and spur development … could catapult Union Station back into its role as a central anchor of the West Loop neighborhood.”
Metra Chairman Martin Oberman cited pedestrian traffic patterns and ventilation as key challenges, stating that all parties will need to work together to secure adequate funding.
Noting his perspective both as RTA Chairman and as a daily passenger, RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard said, “We must move this project forward both to restore this iconic building to its former glory and to assure the safety and comfort of our customers.”
Rep. Mike Quigley complimented the associated agencies on the collaboration, vowing to “keep fighting on the House Appropriations Committee for transportation and infrastructure funding for the greater Chicagoland area so that it continues to be a city that Americans want to live in, work and visit.”
With the current phase slated to take approximately 18 months to complete, Arup’s principal and project manager John Eddy expressed pride in his company’s role.
“Arup is delighted to lead the team of experts that will take Chicago Union Station into the next century,” said Eddy. “This project will reflect the station’s status as the major multimodal transit powerhouse for the city and region. We look forward to collaborating with Amtrak and the project partners to create an efficient, vibrant, and modern transit hub.”
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