Amtrak has selected the Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) contractor for the construction of two new bridges and associated track work, along with two supporting contracts that will advance replacement of the existing 117-year-old Susquehanna River Rail Bridge.
Today’s announcement 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 Northeast Corridor (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.
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% design completion is expected by the end of 2024 and construction is scheduled to begin in 2025.
Amit Bose, FRA Administrator:
“The Susquehanna River Bridge is vital to the Northeast Corridor and the Nation, and the Federal Railroad Administration is pleased to see progress to replace the current 117-year-old bridge. Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and with funds in his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re finally replacing and repairing aging bridges and tunnels and modernizing infrastructure of national significance on America’s busiest rail corridor, and we’re advancing projects nationwide that will help deliver world-class passenger rail to more Americans.”
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD):
“Rail infrastructure in Maryland plays a vital role in our state’s economy and on the Northeast Corridor. With progress on the Susquehanna Bridge Replacement Program, we are seeing the impact of federal investment through the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to advance projects to upgrade this critical infrastructure.”
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD):
“Thousands of Marylanders take MARC and Amtrak trains over the Susquehanna River Bridge every day, yet this critical bridge was built over 100 years ago and is long overdue to be replaced. That’s why funding this project was top of mind when we worked to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These contract awards mean new good-paying union jobs are coming to Harford County, and improved rail service is on the horizon for Marylanders and visitors alike.”
Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD-01):
“I am pleased to see that the process of replacing the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge is moving along efficiently. Replacing this heavily used and older bridge will improve the safety of all travelers, including maritime traffic below it, and create economic opportunity for residents of the first district.”
Holly Arnold, Administrator MTA:
“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.”