The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project.
FRA said it will accept public comments on the document through July 6, 2023.
The SDEIS assesses the potential impacts on the human and natural environment of a new Preferred Alternative developed in response to comments on the 2020 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
How FRA's Project Improves Rail Infrastructure
The project would improve rail infrastructure to accommodate increased intercity and commuter rail service in the future.
By reconstructing all tracks and platforms as well as providing new internal circulation space and amenities, the project would accommodate higher levels of train service.
The project would support Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) through-running trains and complement investments in intercity passenger service on the Northeast Corridor and south of Washington, D.C., including the Long Bridge project.
Buses are accommodated in the new Preferred Alternative with a new east-west bus facility. The bus facility at Union Station provides access for scheduled intercity travel and connections for visitors to the District of Columbia.
Providing Access, Opportunity at Union Station
In response to comments received on the 2020 DEIS, the new Preferred Alternative reduces parking and places it and other vehicle functions including pick-up and drop-off below the tracks.
By placing vehicles below ground, the Preferred Alternative creates more opportunity for commercial development and public space above the tracks.
These and other changes were requested by the District of Columbia and other stakeholders. Reduced parking revenue and an expanded station require new sources of income to maintain and operate the station.
FRA said it looks to the governments of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and others to become funding partners for the project and to ensure the continued viability of the station.
A Union Station Expansion Project Delivery and Governance Study has been launched by InfrastructureDC (IDC), in partnership with the District of Columbia Government.
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