Union Station Expansion

Client: Union Station
Completion Date: 2017
Location: Kansas City, Missouri


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.

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.


  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Bridge design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Construction

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Joel Jacobsen Architectural Director 816-349-6783
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