DDOT announced plans are in place to start construction on the rehabilitation of Columbus Plaza and Massachusetts Avenue at Union Station.
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced plans are in place to start construction on the rehabilitation of Columbus Plaza and Massachusetts Avenue at Union Station. The construction activities for this $7.8 million project will start on Monday, September 12, 2011 and take approximately 18-months to complete.
The construction project will be managed by DDOT and is being implemented through a partnership that involves Amtrak, the Architect of the Capitol, DDOT, the National Park Service, the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC) and the Washington Metro Transit Authority (WMATA).
The work area will include the roadway adjacent to Union Station on the east and west sides; Columbus Circle; First Street, NE between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street; Columbus Drive, NE between Massachusetts Avenue and F Street; and the streets that intersect Massachusetts Avenue at Columbus Circle.
As part of the rehabilitation efforts the plaza will be reconfigured to improve access and safety for pedestrians and vehicular traffic, while enhancing security. The new traffic pattern configuration will allow for vehicles to loop around the plaza to enter and exit the station. Vehicles will no longer be required to travel through the middle of the plaza to exit the station. New sidewalks will also be added to create safe walkways for pedestrians. In addition, improvements will be made to the traffic signal system to enhance the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic movements throughout the plaza. A bollard security system will also be installed along the perimeter of Union Station.
While construction is taking place the bus, car and taxi drop-off lanes located in front of the station will remain open. Traffic lanes on Massachusetts Avenue and around the plaza will be reduced as needed. Temporary pedestrian walkways and crossings will be marked and designated as such.
Although the construction at Columbus Plaza does not affect Amtrak, commuter or transit operations passengers are encouraged to allow additional time to arrive at the station before their train departure.
Certain bus stop locations will be temporality impacted around the construction zone. Please visit wmata.com and dccirculator.com for service updates and changes.
For updated construction project information please visit ddot.dc.gov or dashboard.ddot.dc.gov.
DDOT, in conjunction with the NPS and the USRC, began designing improvements for pedestrian safety and vehicular access at Columbus Plaza in 2004, based on access and circulation studies completed in 2000 and 2002. Columbus Plaza is located south of Union Station on Massachusetts Avenue, NW. The rehabilitation project will improve access and circulation patterns in and around Columbus Plaza for pedestrians, taxis, bicyclists, private vehicles, commercial vehicles, Metro buses, private motor coaches, and tour buses that stop at Union Station. Designs were completed in coordination with Amtrak, the Architect of the US Capitol, the National Capital Planning Commission, the US Commission of Fine Arts, and the DC State Historic Preservation Office. The public participated in several public meetings and commented on the designs in 2008 and 2009.
The project, which will be managed by DDOT, is being funded through a cooperative agreement between DDOT, USRC and the NPS. The project was designed to provide needed improvements at the city's primary multi-modal transportation center, while preserving and enhancing the historic character of Columbus Plaza and Union Station. A copy of the completed Environmental Assessment for "Columbus Circle/ Columbus Plaza Rehabilitation" is available at: parkplanning.nps.gov/nama .
Union Station, built in 1908 and the Columbus Memorial in Columbus Plaza, built in 1912, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.