Earthquake Repairs at Union Station

August earthquake damaged ceiling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jeff Hollingsworth
    Outside Union Station after the earthquake.

    You may notice a lot of people tilting their heads back while passing through Union Station in northeast Washington.

    Construction is under way to repair extensive damage caused by August's 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

    It caused chunks of plaster to crumble and break free from the historic Main Hall and Concourse area ceilings.

    The west part of the building appears to have sustained the worst damage. That area will be fixed first.

    Artisans will soon be hanging almost 95 feet in the air on a movable deck to patch up the damage.

    “It’s engineered in a way to allow for the maximum use of the floor space below,” Union Station General Manager Mark Polhemus said.

    “It’s a very challenging job,” added Mark Tsirigos.

    The vice president of Universal Builders Supply elaborated on why.

    “It’s a very challenging job because we’re trying to maintain the daily commuters, the shops [and] we have to work after hours [and] we have a very small window to do a lot of things.”

    It'll take between eight and 10 months to return the iconic structure to its previous grandeur.

    Polhmeus stressed, despite the restoration work, it is business as usual at the station.

    “We’re alive, open and well,” he said.

    “Just take a little additional time if you need to if you want to come here to take a train out or other type of public transportation as there may be a few delays depending on how easily you can move through the station.”

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