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For Immediate Release:

Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel Project Environmental Review Concludes
with Record of Decision

 

MARCH 31, 2017

HANOVER, MD – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) http://ow.ly/r8JG30arsb6 for the B&P Tunnel Project, concluding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Impact Statement process on the initiative.  The federally-funded engineering and environmental study identifies four new one-track tunnels to replace the existing B&P Tunnel, thereby improving rail service and reliability on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and addressing a longstanding bottleneck.  The projected cost, which has not changed since the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), is an estimated $4.52 billion.  Funding has not currently been identified for final design and construction of the project.

The 144-year-old, two-track B&P Tunnel is located between the West Baltimore MARC Station and Penn Station in Baltimore, Maryland.  Amtrak owns the structure, though it also accommodates both Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) and Norfolk Southern Railway freight trains in addition to intercity passenger trains.

The ROD concludes the environmental review process with FRA’s selection of the Preferred Alternative (Alternative 3B) and three ventilation facilities, one each at the North and South portals and an intermediate ventilation facility sited at 900-940 West North Avenue.  The FEIS and ROD both established numerous mitigation strategies to minimize the project’s impacts on surrounding communities, both during construction and after the new tunnels are operational.

In accordance with NEPA (42 USC § 4332 et seq.), the FRA coordinated with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Amtrak, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation to issue a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in December 2015.  The DEIS evaluated the environmental impacts of three build alternatives and a No-Build Alternative.  The FRA and MDOT issued the FEIS in November, 2016 and held two public information meetings in December 2016.  Over the course of the three-year study leading to the release of these documents, the project team engaged the public by hosting more than 20 open houses and community outreach meetings and hearings, publishing newsletters, and maintaining a website at www.bptunnel.com.  Project partners are committed to ongoing public outreach as funding is provided to advance the project.

The ROD is available to view on the project website (www.bptunnel.com) and at the locations below.  The project team can be contacted at info@bptunnel.com.

Copies of the document are available for review at:

Baltimore City Department of Transportation Transit Bureau
Fayette Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

Maryland Department of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive, 1st Floor Reception Desk
Hanover, MD 21076

Maryland Transit Administration
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
By Appointment Only at 410-767-3785

Bon Secours Community Works
26 N. Fulton Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21223

Parkview Recreation Center
2610 Francis Street
Baltimore, MD 21217

Bentalou Recreation Center
220 N. Bentalou Street
Baltimore, MD 21223

  • Enoch Pratt Libraries:
    Central Branch
    400 Cathedral Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Edmondson Avenue Branch
    4330 Edmondson Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21229
  • Pennsylvania Avenue Branch
    1531 W. North Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21217
  • Walbrook Branch
    3203 W. North Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21216

CONTACTS:

FRA Public Affairs, 202-493-6024
MDOT – Gary Witherspoon, 410-865-1027
Amtrak – Chelsea Kopta, 202-906-3730
Baltimore City – Adrienne Barnes, 410-361-9296

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