$7 Billion Transformation of D.C.'s Union Station Proposed

You read that right...$7 billion. In a plan to be unveiled today, Amtrak is proposing to transform the second-busiest Amtrak station in the country into a hub for high-speed rail and redevelopment, report Jonathan O'Connell and Ashley Halsey III.

2 minute read

July 25, 2012, 12:00 PM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj

So what does $7 billion in improvements buy? The ambitious plan, tantalizing renderings of which can be seen in a slideshow accompanying the article, would expand the overcrowded station dramatically in order to triple passenger capacity and double the number of trains the station can accommodate.

"Much of Union Station's expansion would come below ground, where
Amtrak plans to add new platforms, tracks and shopping, all of which
would enjoy natural light from a 50-foot-wide, 100-foot-long
glass-encased main concourse," note O'Connell and Halsey. The expansion would include the addition of six tracks dedicated to high-speed rail.

Planned to accompany the overhaul of the station is a $1.5 billion complex of offices, residential towers and a hotel to be built by developer Akridge. "The development,
to be constructed on a deck built over the tracks behind Union Station,
would link Capitol Hill to the NoMa neighborhood."

"Dubbed Burnham
Place after Union Station architect Daniel Burnham, the
3-million-square-foot project would include a rebuilt H Street bridge
and an expanded street grid that would welcome pedestrians to a large
new northern entrance to the station."

Sounds great, right? When does construction start, you ask? According to O'Connell and Halsey, "what the proposal lacks is a vision for financing the plan, which
even in stages probably would require huge government funding

Keep in mind, "the federal budget for all surface transportation in recent years has been about $54 billion."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in The Washington Post

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Diagram of visibility at urban intersection.

How ‘Daylighting’ Intersections Can Save Lives

Eliminating visual obstructions can make intersections safer for all users.

November 27, 2023 - Strong Towns

Bus passengers boarding an orange Los Angeles Metro bus on Sunset Boulevard.

LA Pledges to Add Thousands of New Bus Stop Shelters

The city’s bus riders will finally get some relief from sun and rain.

7 hours ago - Urbanize Los Angeles

Green Paris Texas city limit sign with population.

How Paris, Texas Became a ‘Unicorn’ for Rural Transit

A robust coalition of advocates in the town of 25,000 brought together the funding and resources to launch a popular bus service that some residents see as a mobility lifeline—and a social club.

November 30 - Texas Monthly

Red San Diego Trolley light rail train at station with passengers walking on platform and Spanish-style dome building in background.

San Diego Trolley Nation’s Most Popular Light Rail

The system's ridership benefited from an extension project and free transit for youth.

November 30 - Axios

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.