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Union Station: Raleigh's Multi-Modal Transit Center

Last updated May 25, 2017 - 5:07 pm
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The Raleigh Union Station project is a multimodal facility planned for Downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District. The facility will be implemented in a number of phases.

Phase I of Raleigh Union Station is currently under construction. This phase moves passenger rail services from the current Amtrak station on Cabarrus Street to an existing warehouse on Martin Street within the railroad wye. Subsequent phases of Raleigh Union Station are planned to accommodate additional inter-city and intra-state rail services, regional commuter rail, local and regional buses, taxis, bicycles and other forms of transportation. When completed, the multimodal center will accommodate current and future demand for rail and transit services in our city.

The Phase I project is made possible through a partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division, GoTriangle, and numerous stakeholders.

Phase I of Raleigh Union Station will include:

  • a larger waiting room and better amenities for Amtrak passengers;
  • a grand Civic Hall for large public events;
  • commercial rental space that can be use for retail, office or restaurants and will provide additional amenities for travellers and the community;
  • a center island passenger platform with level-boarding to provide better access for wheelchairs and strollers;
  • a daylit, enclosed concourse between the station and platform;
  • a large public plaza near intersection of West Street and Martin Street which provides a wonderful urban gathering space on a daily basis, and event space during special events; sustainable features including on-site bioretention, permeable pavement systems, green roof areas, and other stormwater management features; a pollinator garden; and tactile wayfinding for the sight impaired.

Schedule:

Substantial completion of the station is anticipated by the winter of 2017 with a fully operational station by the first quarter of 2018. A few construction activities, including related track modifications, will continue after the opening of the station. The schedule is subject to change based on nature of construction and challenges that may be encountered.

Current Activity

Construction for Raleigh Union Station is about 60% complete with work being done to the building and surrounding station area. A breakdown of current construction includes:

Worksite
Construction of the tunnel and platform foundations; concrete and grading operations; construction of site walls near the West Street entry bridge; utility needs for the site; as well as steel and concrete work for the building's plaza.

Building
Roofing; north wall masonry; west addition siding; utility needs; and interior radiant flooring.

Station and site construction is led by the City and is contracted through a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), Clancy & Theys, Skanska, and A Joint Venture. Track and rail infrastructure construction is led by NCDOT and includes railroad track and signal work within Downtown Raleigh and in neighboring communities.

Funding

Funding for Phase I is made possible through the United States Department of Transportation’s program—Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grants (TIGER 2012 and TIGER 2013); and state and local contributions.

The City’s CMAR contract value is $57,865,000 of the total funding.

The Vision

Raleigh Union Station fits within efforts to support the expansion of mass transit options in North Carolina's central region. Raleigh is a rapidly growing city, and with that comes a need for transportation facilities to meet current and future transit demands. Raleigh Union Station will not only serve Amtrak passengers, but also act as a multi-model transit center connecting riders to other forms of transit. Offering this level of service will address congestion and land development concerns, while also providing a transportation hub that will continue to revitalize Downtown Raleigh and its Warehouse District.

Background

On March 3, the Raleigh City Council authorized proceeding with a modified scope and funding package for the Union Station Project. The recommended plan meets the City’s goals and maintains many of the elements included in the “full-build option” presented to the Council on January 20. The plan increases the funds available for contingencies, and retains the project’s signature design elements, retail and civic spaces, and higher efficiency equipment. The plan reduces the scope of some elements, including overhead utility work, revised platform material choice and construction method, and a modified stormwater garden.

It is estimated that the project will create 143 short-term jobs, generating $4.08 million in short-term salaries. The project should also create a “multiplier effect” of an additional $5.53 million in indirect impacts resulting from household expenditures within the region. Based on conclusions from other studies regarding the economic impacts due to construction of private transit-oriented development (TOD), the project has the potential to create a total of 44,500 short-term and indirect jobs over a 10-year period.

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