By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun
9:05 PM EDT, September 16, 2011
Maryland has been allocated $22 million in stimulus funds to begin work on replacing the Susquehanna River Railroad Bridge, the states' senators announced Friday.
The current bridge is more than 100 years old and about 100 Amtrak and MARC trains cross it on weekdays, according to a statement by U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The bridge, she said, is a "serious bottleneck" for passenger trains.
A new bridge will be able to accommodate high-speed trains along the busy Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, Mikulski said.
The money, which will be given to the Maryland Department of Transportation, is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
After the governor of Florida turned down $2.4 billion in federal funds earlier this year for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, Maryland applied for a portion of the unused funds.
Maryland planned to seek $200 million for the planning and engineering of three replacement bridges on the Amtrak line over the Bush, Gunpowder and Susquehanna rivers, Maryland Department of Transportation spokesman Jack Cahalan said in March.
The estimated cost of construction of the three bridges is about $2.1 billion. They are owned by Amtrak.
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