Initial Demo Begins for Amtrak’s Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
image description
Courtesy of Amtrak

BALTIMORE –The Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program sees the beginning of demolition as major construction will begin in 2024.

The video below shows the beginning of the initial demolition:

While the initial demolition for Amtrak’s Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program has begun, major construction activities will start later this year. Two local businesses with crews and equipment began demolition for “the first of 47 residential and commercial properties that have been acquired by Amtrak.” These contractors have experience in demolition work and are aware of the applicable rules and regulations in Baltimore City. In addition, they will install fencing lined with screening fabric around each site. Amtrak states that each contractor has a work plan with details on “how adjacent properties will be protected during this process.”

Over the last ten years, Amtrak, the FRA, and MDOT MTA “have conducted hundreds of outreach engagements with residents and community organizations to guide program development, share updates, and discuss future activities.” Now, as demolition begins, Amtrak says it is continuing its commitment to consistent and transparent community updates with a preview of the program’s next steps.

Funded in large part by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program will “modernize and transform a 10-mile section of the Northeast Corridor.” By focusing on the rail bottleneck between Washington, D.C. and New Jersey, it will improve both reliability and travel times. Locally, infrastructure in the West Baltimore area will receive upgrades. This includes the Edmonson and Lafayette Street Bridges.

Additionally, the centerpiece is a new tunnel that is named after civil rights leader and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and there will be a new ADA-accessible West Baltimore MARC station, five new roadway and railroad bridges, new rail infrastructure that includes modern tracks and new catenary wires for electric power.

According to the release from Amtrak, one important aspect includes creating thousands of construction jobs in the project area. Amtrak has also committed $50 million for a Community Investment Program “that will fund projects in six dedicated categories, including community and workforce development, parks and recreation, and more.”

Tags: , , , ,