Howard Street Tunnel Project

View the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

View the Environmental Assessment (EA)

Watch the public outreach video

Project Overview

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 21 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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​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 has been 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

Due to COVID-19 protocols, traditional public open houses could not be offered as part of the EA comment period that ran from March 1, 2021 until April 13, 2021. 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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Following the EA comment period, the Federal Railroad Administration prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) document to respond to comments and incorporate project updates since the release of the EA. The FONSI and associated appendices are available for review by clicking the below link.

FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT

The FONSI represents final NEPA approval for the HST Project.

Next Steps

CSX is now able to finalize engineering, obtain permits and advance the project to construction. CSX expects to begin construction, in phases, later in 2021 and 2022.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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