CHICAGO (CBS) — The iconic 90-year-old Union Station is about to get a $12 million facelift, including upgrades to frequently crowded concourses, and improved temperature controls to avoid burst pipes that twice flooded the rail terminal this month.
Amtrak, which owns the station, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were set to announce plans to reconfigure the south concourse, in an effort to cut back on overcrowding that is often the result of train delays at Union Station.
The concourse was last reconfigured in 1991, and far more people use the station now than 24 years ago, according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.
“Amtrak ridership and Metra ridership have grown quite a bit since 1991, and we’ve basically outgrown that design,” Magliari said. “We’ve outgrown the waiting room space there. There simply isn’t enough space to queue all the passengers for Amtrak trains, and to manage some of the traffic flow for Metra trains. So, in the end, there’ll be a very different-looking concourse.”