The Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC), in coordination with Amtrak, is proposing a project to expand and modernize Washington Union Station, the National Capital Region’s principal intermodal transportation hub.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public review. OP has reviewed this document and has identified several areas of critical concern where improvements are needed before the project design is finalized. These concerns are laid out in the Statement from the Director.
Below we provide information that includes the Project’s Purpose, OP’s Involvement in the Project, Detailed Project Information, and Opportunities to Participate.
PURPOSE OF PROJECT
The purpose of the project is to support current and future long‐term growth in rail service; enhance accessibility to the station; facilitate intermodal travel; provide a positive rider experience; enhance integration with the adjacent businesses, neighborhoods, and planned land uses; sustain the Station’s economic viability; and support continued preservation, use and enhancement of the historic station building.
For the past several years the District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP) has been an active participant in the NEPA process, and has focused on ensuring the following principles are achieved by the project:
- Prioritizing intermodal effectiveness and efficiency (including intercity bus, rideshare services and bicycle connections);
- Providing continued and enhanced quality of life for those who live, work, and visit the Washington Union Station area;
- Affirming the civic identity rooted in the transportation infrastructure at Union Station;
- Reaffirming the importance of intercity bus at Washington Union Station; and
- Prioritizing pedestrian mobility in the design.
DETAILED PROJECT INFORMATION
The proposed project includes the following:
- The project will reconstruct the entire railyard, passenger platforms and concourses to increase station capacity from approximately 17.7 million passengers per year to 42.4 million passengers per year.
- The project will include a new deck over entire railyard and provide pedestrian and vehicular connections and circulation at the level of the H Street Bridge. The deck would also include a multi-story glass canopy to bring natural light to the passenger areas.
- The project will retain the station’s historic head house; while considering viewsheds from various locations in the District.
- The existing parking garage will be removed and replaced with uses that are currently under examination.
- The project will include a new dedicated inter-city bus facility.
- The project will include new retail and office uses, which vary by alternative, but include approximately 72,000 square feet of net new retail space and approximate 380,000 square feet of net new office.
- Total Cost for Project is Projected at $5.8 billion to $7.5 billion depending upon the Alternative selected.
- Timelines for the Project vary by alternative, depending upon which alternative is selected construction of the Project would take between approximately 11 years-5 months and 14 years-4 months.
More information on the Project can be found at the following websites:
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has review authority over this Project, and information they provide can be found at: https://www.ncpc.gov/projects/7746/.
Please note that the above description is not inclusive of the private air rights redevelopment project known as “Burnham Place.” For zoning guidance related to the Union Station North zone please visit: https://handbook.dcoz.dc.gov/zones/special-purpose-zones/union-station-north/usn/.
STAKEHOLDERS, PROCESS AND STATUS
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is conducting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process needed to assess the impacts of the Project, and as noted has released a DEIS for public review and comment.
OP Documents pertaining to NEPA and 106 review processes for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project
- Mayor Bowser Letter to FRA re: DC Comments on the Washington Union Station Expansion Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (September 28, 2020)
- Comments on the Washington Union Station Expansion Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement from the DC Office of Planning (September 28, 2020)
- DC State Historic Preservation Office Letter to FRA: Washington Union Station Expansion Project; Additional Comments on the Draft Assessment of Effects Report and Resolution of Adverse Effects (September 28, 2020)
- OP Statement from the Director on FRA's proposed Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS) for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project (August 28, 2020)
- OP Director’s Remarks to NCPC Commissioners at the July 9, 2020 NCPC Meeting (July 9, 2020)
- OP/DDOT Request to FRA for Extension of Public Comment Period for the Washington Union Station DEIS (June 19, 2020)
- OP/DDOT Report to NCPC re: Appropriate Parking Numbers for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project (June 3, 2020)
- OP Director’s Letter to FRA re: DC Comments on Preferred Alternative for Washington Union Station Expansion Project (April 30, 2020)