BALTIMORE — CSX Transportation will begin a multi-million dollar expansion of the 126-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore this year, which will allow it to run double-stack trains to the Port of Baltimore. On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that an environmental assessment of the project found that there would be no significant negative impacts from the expansion, allowing it to move forward. CSX plans to start work this year.
The expansion of the 8,700-foot tunnel beneath downtown Baltimore is expected to cost $446 million dollars and is being spearheaded by CSX, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration.
“The Howard Street Tunnel expansion is a major infrastructure project that will significantly increase business for the Port of Baltimore,” Hogan said. “This project will have a tremendous impact on Maryland’s economy, improve the flow of goods, and generate thousands of jobs in the Baltimore region.”
Besides the expansion of the tunnel to allow it to accept double stacks, CSX will also be improving clearance at 22 other locations on its main line between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Three additional bridges in Baltimore City require superstructure work: the North Avenue bridge will be modified and the Guilford Avenue and Harford Road bridges will be fully replaced. Other locations in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania only require track lowering work beneath the structures.