JV wins $1bn Amtrak package for Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass Tunnel

Frederick Douglass Tunnel
The tunnel will end at Baltimore’s Penn Station (Public Domain

US rail operator Amtrak has picked its team to build the southern approaches of the $6bn Frederick Douglass Tunnel project in Baltimore

The work will be carried out by a joint venture between Maryland contractor Clark Construction and Stacy and Witbeck of California. This is the first of three contracts to be let in this phase of the work, and follows a procurement process that began in June 2022. It is expected to be worth about $1bn.

The tunnel will replace the Civil War-era Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, which suffers from leaks and is gradually sinking, into Baltimore’s Penn Station.

The Northeastern Corridor is the busiest passenger line in the US (SPUI/Public Domain)

The Frederick Douglass Tunnel will be a modern twin-bore design, and is intended to allow trains to travel through it at 160km/h, improving movement through Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington.

Laura Mason, Amtrak’s vice president for capital delivery, said: “This award represents the culmination of years of hard work to deliver significant long-term improvements right in the heart of a vital segment of the Northeast Corridor.

Two other contracts still to be assigned on the project: the construction of the tunnel itself, which is expected to awarded later this year; and the fit-out of the tunnel, which will be awarded in 2025 or 2026.

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