Howard Street Tunnel Project

View the Environmental Assessment (EA)
As noted below, comments are being accepted on the EA until April 13, 2021.

Watch the public outreach video

Project Background

The Howard Street Tunnel (HST) Project consists of vertical clearance improvements along CSX’s I-95 Rail Corridor to allow double-stack trains (trains transporting shipping containers stacked on top of each other) to travel between Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The primary obstacle to double-stack service along this corridor has been the Howard Street Tunnel, a 1.7-mile-long railroad passage under the heart of Baltimore that was originally constructed in 1895. With current vertical clearances up to 18 inches less than the 21 feet necessary for double-stack, the HST and 22 other clearance obstructions currently restrict the ability to move double-stack trains along this section of CSX’s network, including to and from the Port of Baltimore.

Utilizing funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, CSX, the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the HST Project will eliminate all remaining double-stack obstructions between Baltimore and Philadelphia. The HST Project consists of the following work, at the following locations.​​​


Clearance Obstruction
Scope of Work
Jurisdiction
  

​State of Maryland

​Howard Street Tunnel

Tunnel Modifications
Baltimore City
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​Mount Royal Avenue

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​MTA Bridge

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​North Avenue 

Bridge Modifications
Baltimore City
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​Sisson Street

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​Huntington Avenue

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​Charles Street

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​St. Paul/Calvert Street

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​Guilford Avenue

Bridge Replacement
Baltimore City
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Barclay Street

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​Greenmount Avenue

Track Lowering
Baltimore City
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​Harford Road

Bridge Replacement
Baltimore City
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​State of Delaware

​Lancaster Avenue

Track Lowering
Wilmington
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​4th Street

Track Lowering
Wilmington
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​Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

​Chichester Avenue

Track Lowering
Boothwyn
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​Crum Lynne Road

Track Lowering
Ridley Park
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​Clifton Avenue

Track Lowering
Sharon Hill
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​Boone Tunnel

Track Lowering
Sharon Hill
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​68th Street

Track Lowering
Philadelphia
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​65th Street

Track Lowering
Philadelphia
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​Cemetery Avenue

Track Lowering
Philadelphia
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​61st Street

Track Lowering
Philadelphia
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​Woodland Avenue

Track Lowering
Philadelphia
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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

The HST Project is being evaluated in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA process requires federal agencies to assess the potential environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions regarding the proposed action. The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is the federal agency leading the NEPA process for this project. An Environmental Assessment (EA) document was prepared in accordance with NEPA and FRA’s NEPA implementing regulations to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the HST Project. The EA and associated appendices are available for review by clicking on the below links.


Environmental Assessment

Appendix A - Figures

Appendix B - Section 4(f) Evaluation

Appendix C - Air Quality Report

Appendix D - Wetland Delineation Report

Appendix E - Noise and Vibration Report

Appendix F - Socioeconomic Report

Appendix G - Environmental Justice Report

Appendix H - Section 106 Archaeological Report

Appendix I –Section 106 Architectural Report

Appendix J - Draft Memorandum of Agreement

Appendix K – Agency Consultation

The formal EA comment period is open through Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Comments may be emailed to the project team at hst@marylandports.com. In addition, comments can also be directly mailed to:

Bradley Smith
Maryland Port Administration
401 E. Pratt Street, 19th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Due to COVID-19 protocols, traditional public open houses cannot be offered as part of the comment period. Instead, the following video was produced that summarizes the HST Project’s purpose and need, scope of work and potential environmental impacts.​​​

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Prior to finalizing the EA, the project team participated in numerous public and stakeholder engagement meetings and is committed to continuing that engagement beyond the EA comment period. Community groups that would like more information or request a virtual briefing after the initial comment period may contact the project team at hst@marylandports.com.

Next Steps

The project team will consider comments received during the EA comment period when drafting the final NEPA document, which FRA expects to approve in the spring of 2021. Following final NEPA approval, CSX will be able to finalize engineering, obtain permits and advance the project to construction. CSX expects to begin construction, in phases, later in 2021.

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