Amtrak To Replace 116-Year-Old Susquehanna River Rail Bridge

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Credit: Haley Cornell/Patch

HAVRE DE GRACE - Amtrak has announced that it will replace the 116-year-old Susquehanna River Rail Bridge in Havre de Grace. The Susquehanna River Rail Bridge was identified on the recently released Northeast Corridor Project Inventory list. It is one of several major infrastructure projects Amtrak is advancing to improve its services.

This new project will be a massive undertaking for the national rail service.

The Susquehanna River Bridge is the longest movable bridge on the Northeast Corridor. According to Amtrak, more than 110 Amtrak and MARC passenger and freight trains cross the two-track bridge daily.

The current bridge suffers from capacity limitations which require trains to slow down to a maximum of 90 mph while crossing. The new river crossing will be comprised of two fixed bridges which will allow for greater maximum speeds.

The project will also require five miles of track around the bridge to be realigned and renovated.

Amtrak Executive Vice President of Capital Delivery Laura Mason says the bridge is woefully out-of-date.

“The bridge was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad at the turn of the 20th century, and while it was well-constructed and remains safe, it is a significant bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor. Once complete, both new bridges will reduce trip time and improve reliability for passenger and freight trains that rely on this critical connection.”

Amtrak and the Maryland DOT estimate the total construction costs to be at least $1.5 billion. The recent infrastructure bill passed in congress will help cover some of the costs, and an additional $3 million has been provided by the state of Maryland.

Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and MDOT MTA plan to award construction contracts for the bridge in 2023.

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