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Construction Underway on Pivotal Freight Corridor Program Between Baltimore and Philadelphia

Oct 23, 2023
Train going through Howard Street Tunnel

STV’s decades-long history of providing program and construction management services for transportation projects in and around Baltimore, coupled with the organization’s experience supporting a wide range of infrastructure programs for the nation’s leading freight railroads, is currently being realized by its latest partnership with CSX Transportation (CSXT) to increase capacity in an essential freight corridor along the East coast.

In joint venture, STV is providing program and construction management (PM/CM) services on behalf of CSXT for its $466 million Howard Street Tunnel Clearance Program, which is now in its construction phase.

The PM/CM team’s work on this project is a hallmark example of creating solutions for what clients need now, as well as identifying and investing in supporting future client needs.

The project – a long-identified goal for the region – includes ten separate tasks and will increase clearances along the nearly 100-mile freight corridor between Baltimore and Philadelphia, including the 1.7-mile-long Howard Street tunnel. The ultimate goal of the program is to achieve double-stack clearance on CSXT’s route, thereby increasing CSXT’s capacity to transport goods along the East Coast.

“The biggest challenge is that you can’t simply detour a train to maintain service,” said Amanda Jones, P.E., senior associate, and business unit leader. “This is a very heavily traveled corridor that’s in need of increased capacity. So, part of our job is to weigh the ease and speed of construction against the need of continued freight traffic. It’s a very nuanced undertaking with many competing interests.”

The PM/CM team is coordinating the staged construction of this tri-state endeavor including project schedule, document management, construction inspection, quality management, project controls, and public information — all while maintaining CSXT train service.

“The program requires close coordination with various stakeholders across multiple states, with the support of skillful STV moderators in local STV offices,” said George King, associate, senior construction manager and project manager. “Based on our past experience with owners of large projects and our solid relationships with stakeholders in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, we can support local stakeholders while still advocating for CSXT.”

“Construction is underway for four of the five Pennsylvania jobs, with work in Baltimore expected to begin later this summer,” Jones said. “We’ve already begun public engagement with Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises in Baltimore to get the neighborhoods prepared.”

The team anticipates the Pennsylvania portion of construction to be completed early next year, with the construction of Howard Street Tunnel itself – all 8,600 feet in the heart of Baltimore – beginning later this year.