September 17, 2019

Cardin, Van Hollen, Trone Call on CSX to Prioritize Repairs to Cumberland Bridges

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Environment and Public Works and Appropriations committees, and Congressman David Trone, who represents Allegany County (All D-Md.) are asking CSX to take responsibility for repairs to bridges in Cumberland that have created safety risks and impeded traffic.

“Cumberland and CSX share a close and interconnected history that includes the city’s bridges. Unfortunately, for the past two years, residents of Cumberland have endured the impacts of closed bridges impeding access to the west side of the city, preventing the efficient flow of traffic, and creating undue public safety risks. At least some of the disrepair on the Washington St. and Fayette St. bridges can be attributed to collisions with CSX trains,” the lawmakers wrote to CSX CEO James Foote. 

As negotiations between local officials and CSX continue, the lawmakers request CSX’s “support for moving forward as expeditiously as possible on fixing the bridges and reopening them to traffic.”

The full letter is below and can be downloaded at this link. 

September 16, 2019

Mr. James Foote
President and CEO
CSX Corporation
500 Water Street
15th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Dear Mr. Foote:

We write to call your attention to the condition and status of the bridges in Cumberland, Maryland. As you know, Cumberland and CSX share a close and interconnected history that includes the city’s bridges. Unfortunately, for the past two years, residents of Cumberland have endured the impacts of closed bridges impeding access to the west side of the city, preventing the efficient flow of traffic, and creating undue public safety risks. At least some of the disrepair on the Washington St. and Fayette St. bridges can be attributed to collisions with CSX trains. 

The safe and efficient movement of people and goods in and around Cumberland is in all of our interests. Given CSX’s role in the region and its contributions to building Cumberland’s infrastructure, we encourage you to give your urgent attention to completing the necessary work to reopen the bridges in collaboration with the City and with Allegany County.

Our offices have been encouraged to hear from City officials of the progress in negotiations with CSX to establish a plan and clarify responsibilities for the work that needs to be done. We request your support for moving forward as expeditiously as possible on fixing the bridges and reopening them to traffic.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you in support of safe and efficient transportation and a better quality of life in Cumberland. 

Sincerely,

###