Investment would focus on BWI MARC/Amtrak Station and replacement of three key rail bridges in northeast Maryland
ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 5, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that Maryland has formally submitted two applications for funding under the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program for portions of the $2.4 billion made available when Florida Governor Rick Scott refused his state’s high speed rail funds. The specific projects in Maryland’s two requests would support more than 2,300 jobs.
Governor O’Malley is requesting federal investments for improvements to the Amtrak/MARC rail station at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and studies to ultimately replace three Penn Line bridges in northeast Maryland. These projects are top priorities for the O’Malley-Brown Administration, and through correspondence and direct conversations with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the Governor has advocated for federal funding of these jobs-generating projects in the past.
“President Obama continues to lead our country toward economic recovery by investing in the important infrastructure needs of Maryland and the rest of our nation,” said Governor O’Malley. “These investments can create thousands of jobs for Marylanders, and we will continue to aggressively pursue every opportunity to help rebuild our infrastructure, create jobs, and fuel economic progress throughout our State.”
“The Penn Line through Maryland serves as the backbone of rail in the region,” said Secretary Swaim-Staley. “Investments made here will benefit not only Maryland but the entire northeast corridor which is the only existing high speed rail system in the nation. Funding these projects will positively impact rail in the region and offer the promise of immediate jobs in engineering and construction, two sectors that have been hard hit by the economic downturn.”
Maryland’s applications for this most recent round of federal high speed rail funding include:
$299 million for final design and construction of the BWI Area Improvements, including a critical new fourth track in the area of the station, and redevelopment of the station and pedestrian bridge to create access to all four tracks. Maryland is offering $41 million in matching funds for this project to improve rail infrastructure and service on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor along the MARC Penn line. The total investment for this final stage of the project will directly support an estimated 1,830 jobs.
$116 million for Preliminary Engineering and National Environmental Policy Act analysis for the Northeast Maryland Bridge Replacement and Capacity Expansion project. This funding will advance studies to replace and add capacity to three bridges built in 1906 and 1913 across the Bush, Gunpowder and Susquehanna rivers. During this planning and environmental study phase the project will directly support an estimated 547 jobs.
Applications for these two projects were made with the full support of Amtrak and stakeholders from business, environmental and transit communities, planning organizations and all levels of government.
The Coalition of Northeastern Governors, joined by Governor O’Malley, informed Secretary Ray LaHood that they collectively support these projects, as well as others across the region being submitted by nine states, the District of Columbia, and Amtrak for HSIPR grant funds.