Amtrak awards contracts for Susquehanna River Rail Bridge work

Dec. 26, 2023
The Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture was selected as the project's Construction Manager at Risk, while an AECOM-led team will support the final design and construction management for the bridge construction phase and Fay Construction will demolish the exiting bridge piers.

Amtrak awarded a series of contracts that will advance its planned replacement of the 117-year-old Susquehanna River Rail Bridge in Maryland, which is a critical link along the Northeast Corridor (NEC). 

The railroad has selected Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) contractor for construction of two new bridges and associated track work, along with two supporting contracts that will advance replacement of the existing two-track Susquehanna River Rail Bridge.

This decision follows a year-long competitive procurement process that began in 2022 and was supplemented by extensive industry outreach, including an “Industry Day” that helped build interest in this key NEC project.

“With the award of these contracts, we are one step closer to breaking ground on this crucial project that will unlock a significant bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor, reduce trip times and improve reliability for passenger and freight travel across the northeast,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery Laura Mason. “We appreciate the Biden-Harris Administration and FRA for the historic funding that has enabled this project to advance, as well as our funding partners at Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) for their support.”

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently announced up to $2.08 billion in grant funding to support final design and construction for this project, along with 24 other projects totaling more than $16.4 billion of federal investment across the NEC. Two newly constructed two-track fixed bridges will replace the existing two-track moveable bridge, along with overhead power, signal, safety and security system modernization that will improve railroad efficiency on the NEC.

As the longest moveable bridge on the NEC, the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge is used by Amtrak, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) rail and Norfolk Southern to support more than 110 passenger and freight trains daily. Currently, crossing the bridge requires trains to slow to a speed of 90 mph, resulting in capacity and reliability constraints.

“We’re proud to partner with Amtrak on such an important project. Investments in infrastructure such as this will ensure that transit has a bright future in Maryland," said Administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration Holly Arnold. 

Construction of the new bridges is being delivered through the CMAR delivery method. This innovative approach is the second CMAR contract Amtrak has awarded in recent months, following the first major construction contract for the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program.

Amtrak has also awarded two other contracts that will help advance the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Replacement Program. This includes a project and construction management contract awarded to an AECOM-led team in order to support completion of the final design and perform construction management for the bridge construction phase. This team will be fully integrated with the Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture.

Fay Construction has also been selected to demolish and remove 10 remnant piers, which remain from an 1866 railroad bridge that was located just east of the existing bridge. The remnant pier work will begin in early 2024 and last approximately one year.

Final design work is underway for the two new bridges, which will be built in a phased approach; 100 percent design completion is expected by the end of 2024 and construction is scheduled to begin in 2025.