The upgrades in front of Union Station will allow for easier traffic flow and safer pedestrian access.
Union Station's Columbus Plaza has never been particularly friendly for pedestrians, but an 18-month project completed yesterday offers additional safety measures for walkers and improves traffic flow around the circle in front of Washington's iconic train station.
The $10.8 million project, which was funded in part by the federal government, features a redesigned traffic circle that allows vehicles to more easily loop around the plaza and enter and exit Union Station, larger sidewalks, enhanced traffic signals, less-obstrusive security bollards around the station's perimiter, and newly paved roads.
“Before this project, vehicles dropping off passengers to Union Station had to navigate through the plaza’s puzzling configuration and pedestrians had to be wary of confused drivers trying to find their way in and out of the plaza,” said D.C. Mayor Vince Gray. “Now, the rehabilitated plaza serves as a safer, more convenient welcome to the District for the hundreds of thousands who visit our most iconic transit hub.”
D.C. and federal government officials touted the project as a necessary complement to the $1 billion upgrade that's planned for Union Station, one of the country's busiest rail hubs.