Skanska books Howard Street Tunnel project

Project aims to eliminate all double-stack osbtructions in the US states of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania

Sweden-based Skanska, a multinational construction and development company, added a Baltimore, Maryland, US, project to its books in 2023’s fourth quarter: the historic Howard Street Tunnel modernization project.

“The modernization of the historic Howard Street Tunnel will emphasise the accommodation of double-stack trains and [ensure] the tunnel’s continued relevance,” stated a release from Skanska.

The I-95 rail cooridor in Baltimore. The rail cooridor off Interstate 95 in Baltimore, Maryland, US. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

The project is a joint venture with Fay Construction Co. The contract is with CSX Transportation (a US railroad company) for its Howard Street Tunnel Clearance.

Skanska’s share of the contract is worth US$174 million.

Project Overview

According to the state of Maryland government:

“The Howard Street Tunnel (HST) Project consists of vertical clearance improvements along CSX’s I-95 Rail Corridor to allow double-stack trains (trains transporting shipping containers stacked on top of each other) to travel between Baltimore City, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“The primary obstacle to double-stack service along this corridor has been the Howard Street Tunnel, a 1.7-mile-long [2.7-km-long] railroad passage under the heart of Baltimore City that was originally constructed in 1895. With current vertical clearances up to 18 in [45.72 cm] less than the 21 feet [6.4 m] necessary for double-stack, the HST and 21 other clearance obstructions currently restrict the ability to move double-stack trains along this section of CSX’s network, including to and from the Port of Baltimore.”

The project utilized funding from the US Department of Transportation, CSX, the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The hope for the HST Project is to eliminate all remaining double-stack obstructions in the US states of Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania between Baltimore City, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Drainage improvements will also be made throughout the track.

Work commenced in August 2023 with expected completion in June 2027.


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