There is news on the Baltimore B&P Tunnel replacement study. The $60 million environmental and engineering design study now has a website at http://www.bptunnel.com/. The first public outreach meeting is in Baltimore on June 19.
Amtrak news release: STUDY TO IMPROVE BALTIMORE AND POTOMAC TUNNEL ALONG BUSY NORTHEAST CORRIDOR IN BALTIMORE ENTERS NEW PHASE
Excerpts from the news release which has quotes from multiple politicians and agency heads which I am skipping in the excerpt.
BALTIMORE, MD (June 11, 2014) – Working to improve rail service, reliability and address a longstanding bottleneck along Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor (NEC), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Amtrak are advancing an engineering and environmental study to examine various improvements to the 141-year-old Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland.
The study, which will be complete in mid 2017, will include development and evaluation of various alternatives based on the need to enhance rail safety and to improve capacity, reliability and travel time for commuter, freight and intercity passenger rail service on the NEC. Alternatives will include the No Action Alternative, as well as a full array of Build Alternatives such as rehabilitation of the existing tunnel and a new tunnel on new alignment.
The study also involves development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which examines various alternatives while considering environmental and community impacts. The project also will be subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 and other applicable environmental laws and regulations. FRA is leading development of the EIS in close coordination with MDOT and other stakeholders.
There is not much on the project website at this point. I would expect the early work will replicate the FRA report from several years ago on the Baltimore tunnels and the options for replacing the B&P tunnel and the CSX owned Howard St tunnel. Building a new tunnel and then rebuilding the B&P tunnel is a critical project to keep the NEC operating between WAS and BAL.
Edited by afigg, 11 June 2014 - 04:49 PM.