Metro Magazine

JUN 2014

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connects to the river physically and vi- sually as barriers were removed and new views opened up. Air raid blackout paint from World War II was removed from massive skylights in the 27,000-square- foot vaulted waiting room where passen- gers embark on a range of transit servic- es. The new facility also provides large enclosed areas for civic gatherings and private events. Te headhouse and wait- ing room total 140,000 square feet with a train deck platform of more than 300,000 square feet. A large area below the train deck was reconfgured to make room for a new building that provides entry from the street level for transit passengers and pro- vides space for transit provider's ticketing and baggage handling operations as well as almost 200 public parking stalls. The station design developed by URS Corp. incorporated new modes, such as bicycle, bus and light rail, along with add- ed emphasis on vehicular interfaces to Union Depot, which was not originally designed for modern vehicle operations. In addition to the functional station ele- ments, the design signifcantly enhanced existing roadway operations for vehicles and created safer and attractive pedes- trian sidewalks along the approximate- ly 4,000 feet of public street frontage of the site. Union Depot is located in the most complex and active rail corridor in Min- nesota. All rail layout design was devel- oped in close coordination with Canadi- an Pacifc, Union Pacifc and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads as well as Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Ad- ministration. Millions of dollars' worth of infrastructure improvements on the existing freight rail networks, extending several miles from Union Depot, were necessary to introduce passenger trains back into the depot. HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS Converting a historic train depot into a modern multimodal transportation hub required a thorough understanding of how people move between transit and other modes of travel while respecting the general arrangement and historical use of the existing facility. Te design team de- termined that several additional access points and circulation pathways would be needed to increase the openness of the depot for the public. In addition, ac- commodation of private and commer- cial vehicles was crucial to the success of the renovated depot to accommodate the public's reliance on automobiles. Te prompt assessment of the exist- ing train deck structure was critical as it allowed the design team and owner to estimate the potential cost of assuring that the renovated deck would serve the new depot for at least 100 years. Tis as- sessment was done in conjunction with the site design, which also resulted in modifcations to the deck structure and arrangement. Proposed modifcations to the historic deck for structural or site design purpos- es were coordinated with the consulting parties associated with the program- matic agreement between the State His- torical Preservation Ofce (SHPO) and RCRRA. In several cases, new structur- al elements had to be incorporated into dated systems. More than 30,000 square feet of the 350,000-square-foot train deck was reconstructed and another 30,000 square feet required significant rehabilitation. All 478 of the concrete train deck support columns were refur- bished to address deterioration and to ensure they would provide 100 years of additional service life. The project was subject to a stringent review process and needed to move at a fast pace to respond to a TIGER Grant that was part of the American Recovery 40 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JUNE 2014 HISTORIC RAIL DEPOT Extensive use of 3D visualization technology (rendering shown) was employed to depict proposed design elements. Converting a historic train depot into a modern multi-modal transportation hub required a thorough understanding of how people move between transit and other modes of travel while respecting the general arrangement and historical use of the existing facility. Amtrak service began arriving at the Depot on May 7th — the frst time in more than 40 years, passenger trains began service from Union Depot.

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