New Tunnel Hopes Pinned on Infrastructure Bill

 Amtrak and Maryland plan to use funding from a federal infrastructure bill to pay for a new B&P Tunnel. 

Amtrak and the state of Maryland have decided to jointly apply for federal funding to replace the aging Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel. But first Congress would need to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill currently being negotiated. The tunnel is one of the biggest rail bottlenecks between DC & New Jersey, and last year required $71 million in repairs.

Both Amtrak and Maryland are negotiating their share of the roughly $4 billion project. Approximately $2.7 billion is needed to rebuild the tunnel and the remaining $1.3 billion in needed to improve surrounding rail infrastructure. Construction is expected to take over a decade to complete and would not begin until 2026 at the earliest. MARC trains comprise about a third of traffic passing through the tunnel, while Amtrak trains comprise most other traffic.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“We haven’t really arrived at a dollar figure in those negotiations, but Maryland is willing to be a really, really strong partner in building this project,” state Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater said.

If completed the new tunnel would improve commute times by allowing for faster speeds, 100 miles per hour versus the current 30 miles per hour. Plans call for new safety systems and other technology meant to make the tunnel safe and more resistant to corrosion.

Read the Wall Street Journal’s Full Story