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Amtrak, Metra and Chicago officials yesterday announced the selection of engineering group Arup as the design team for the Union Station restoration project.
The announcement represents the start of the next phase of planning, historic review and preliminary engineering for the station, according to a press release.Amtrak's partners on the project — Metra, the city of Chicago, its Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Authority — are jointly funding design services for station improvements to address the most immediate issues of passenger capacity, service, safety, accessibility and mobility issues in and around the station.Arup will advance design work for expanded concourses and entrances, widening of platforms, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, pedestrian passageways and ventilation.Designed by Daniel Burnham, the 90-year-old station represents an "enormous asset" to Amtrak and Chicago, said Amtrak Executive Vice President/Chief of Business Development Stephen Gardner. "We are excited to begin this first phase of the efforts to improve this vibrant transportation hub," Gardner said.Arup's team for Phase IA is experienced in the design and operation of historically significant multimodal transportation hubs, Arup officials said. Arup's Union Station team includes local, regional and international experts.Design work under Phase IA is expected to be completed in 18 months."This project will reflect the station's status as the major multimodal transit powerhouse for the city and region," said John Eddy, principal and project manager at Arup.