Transit officials to hold B&P Tunnel open house

Two more open houses on the B&P Tunnel Project have been scheduled.

Federal, state and local transportation officials are hosting two upcoming open houses for public discussion on the proposed rebuilding of the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel in West Baltimore.

The first will take place Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Frederick Douglass High School, 2301 Gwynns Falls Parkway. The second is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Carver Vocational School, 2201 W. Presstman St.

Officials have proposed to rebuild the tunnel through West Baltimore to speed up and increase the number of trains in the busy Northeast corridor between Washington and Boston. The meetings are an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project and offer their opinions.

About 155 passenger and commuter trains, and two freight trains, use the 143-year-old, 1.4-mile tunnel daily. The project would smooth out sharp curves in the tunnel by building a new route, which would allow the trains to double their speeds. The modification would make it possible for 388 trains to use the tunnel each day.

Officials are weighing three routes that would displace anywhere from zero to 48 homes, from zero to 10 businesses and from one to five community centers.

The project would cost between $3.7 billion and $4.2 billion, depending on the path chosen. A final decision will be made in spring 2017.

A previous open house on Feb. 7 at Douglass High drew only critical residents who said the project should be scrapped entirely. Residents argued that even the seemingly least intrusive option would shake the buildings and impose an intolerable racket on their occupants.

Baltimore Sun reporter Mary Carole McCauley contributed to this article.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

Note: An earlier version of this story misstated the potential cost of the tunnel project. The Sun regrets the error

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