The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Amtrak have released a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project. The primary purpose of the study was to determine the best way to provide continued rail connectivity along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC), the nation’s busiest passenger rail line.
The federally-funded engineering and environmental study, released May 31, identifies Selected Alternative 9A for the new alignment; replacing the existing two-track single bridge with two bridges with two tracks each, structures capable of supporting more passenger rail service along the East Coast. The current 112-year-old bridge spans the Susquehanna River between the town of Perryville, in Cecil County, Maryland, and the city of Havre de Grace, in Harford County, Maryland. The bridge is owned by Amtrak and used by Amtrak intercity trains, MARC commuter trains and Norfolk Southern Railway freight trains.
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FRA — the lead federal agency — and MDOT issued the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project on March 6, 2017 and presented the findings at a Public Outreach Information Session on March 23, 2017.
The FONSI completes the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge NEPA study. Those documents are available for public review on the project website (susrailbridge.com), as well as at several community locations.
Currently, additional funding is not available for full design and construction of the bridges. Amtrak will continue maintenance of the bridge and address comments on the project website.