City, state and federal officials called on the Biden administration to approve a $251 million grant to overhaul Chicago’s Union Station, which would fund wider platforms, improved concourses and better ventilation at the venerable transit hub.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia joined with state transportation officials to ask for federal funding for the project as part of the federal infrastructure bill pushed by President Joe Biden. Amtrak applied for the funding but it has not yet gotten approval, officials said.

Lightfoot said she has personally stressed the importance of the project to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during his trips to Chicago and said it would be a boon for the region.

“Transportation is a thing that unites us,” Lightfoot said.

Durbin said they’re “near the finish line” and hope to hear from the federal government soon.

The iconic building opened in 1925; its initial design was by famed urban planner Daniel Burnham and it was completed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, according to the station’s website.

But despite the architectural splendor of its Great Hall, Union Station is criticized by commuters for its narrow corridors, low ceilings and crowded platforms.

A proposal to add a block of apartments on top of the iconic building was quickly shelved.



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