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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 07:19 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Union Station main hall closed due to earthquake damage

UPDATE: Sunday, 4:11 p.m.: Officials say the main hall of Union Station reopened at 3:30 this afternoon. Crews hung netting to prevent any more plaster from falling to the floor until ceiling restoration is completed.

ORIGINAL POST:

Union Station managers closed the main hall Friday at 6 p.m. so that crews can conduct emergency repairs related to the Aug. 23 earthquake.

A “small piece of plaster fell from the ceiling” Friday and struck a restaurant worker, who was uninjured, officials said.

After the 5.8-magnitude quake, officials said, loose plaster had been removed, inspections performed and temporary repairs implemented, but today’s incident prompted the closure.

“We closed the Main Hall this evening as a precaution,” Mark Polhemus, Union Station general manager, said in a statement.  “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of Union Station visitors and workers.”  

Visitors for commuter trains, Metro, Amtrak and the parking garage will be instructed to use the West Portal, which faces First Street NE, next to the Bike and Roll pod.

Amtrak police and Union Station security officers will help direct people passing through the station, and signs have been erected. Officials said they expect the hall to reopen by 6 a.m. Monday.

Officials said netting will be hung to prevent more plaster from falling. A restoration of the ceiling is scheduled to begin next week.

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By  |  07:19 PM ET, 10/28/2011

 
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