Carriage Pavilion Bridge at Union Station

After years of planning and anticipation, the $7.5 million Union Station western expansion is the largest enhancement project since the station’s 1999 restoration.

Crews from Burns & McDonnell broke ground in January 2016 and completed in August 2017. The design-build project consisted of five major components: the south plaza; east plaza; bridge; north plaza; and several interior improvements on the theater district level.

For the south plaza, the area between Union Station and Pershing Road, teams removed two center driveways, regraded, poured and landscaped a semi-circular pedestrian plaza. The area also features a raised, wide pedestrian walkway to the building where lighting, power and landscaping were also improved.

At the east plaza, concrete improvements and additional amenities enhance the experience for a light rail stop added to the area before the western expansion.


Union Station


Kansas City, Missouri








The bridge is the most significant project feature. It connects the carriage pavilion, a covered drop-off area on the west side of the station, with the third level of the parking garage. Serving both pedestrians and vehicles, it allows visitors — for the first time ever — to approach the front of Union Station and drive directly to the garage instead of circling to the back of the building. Construction teams installed 66,000 pounds of rebar to support the nearly 180 cubic yards of concrete — nearly 20 truckloads of cement. Teams designed and built bridge piers, precast garage spandrel infill, a bridge deck, drainage and piping, electrical and more, all while business carried on as usual inside the station.

At the north plaza, between the parking garage and Science City, renovations transformed the existing space into a 47,000-square-foot outdoor event space for concerts and festivals while boasting 12,000 square feet for exhibits, including the next phase for Science City, an outdoor exhibit designed by students through the Battle of the Brains competition.

Interior improvements on the theater district level include a new ticketing area; a state-of-the-art entrepreneurial conference center; and a connection linking the new meeting space with the main lobby of the station.

Integrated project delivery allowed the client to make significant changes to the design while construction progressed. These changes were accommodated with no additional cost to the owner. No other delivery method could produce this kind of dynamic project while giving the owner ultimate control over schedule, cost, quality and safety.

"As the design-build (EPC) contractor, Burns & McDonnell played a major role in the project's success, displaying the nimbleness needed to allow for additions and changes as we secured additional donor funding along the way. In the end, Burns & McDonnell did more than meet our expectations for schedules, costs and results. The firm succeeded in both preserving and evolving our historic property for the 21st Century, which was a very delicate and deliberate balance. They returned our beloved Union Station to its roots as a regional transportation hub ... [and] their exceptional effort [makes] Kansas City a better place for all of us."

George Guastello

President and CEO, Union Station Kansas City Inc.

Project Profile

Union Station Western Expansion

Burns & McDonnell provided design-build services for a $7.5 million project to adapt Union Station Kansas City for the 21st century, while enhancing t...