The $5 million Edgewood MARC train station project is in its final phase of construction and plans are to have it complete in November.
Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger took a tour of the in-progress station earlier this week and was pleased with the project.
"These improvements to the Edgewood train station are a common sense investment in our future," Ruppersberger, who represents Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties, said in a news release. "Not only are we creating much-needed construction jobs, we are also ensuring that thousands of Harford County commuters will be able to get to work safely and on time. For mass transit to work, it has to be comfortable, convenient and cost-effective. This project helps accomplish all three."
Out of the $5 million in funding for the project, $3.5 million comes from federal sources, including $1.3 million from a transportation grant.
The station — previously a basic train platform — is being upgraded to include restroom facilities, ticket vending machines and ramps accessible to people with disabilities. It will also serve as a key location on the MARC train Penn Line near Aberdeen Proving Ground and Martin State Airport.
Construction began in September 2011, according to a Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) news release, and has provided 25 construction jobs.
"We're very happy with the improvements at the Edgewood MARC train station," MTA Public Information Officer Joe Sviatko said Thursday. "It's a major step forward for our MARC service and passengers in Harford County."
Many aspects have gone into constructing the brand new station, Sviatko explained, such as rehabilitating the old train platform, constructing a building and paving Old Edgewood Road and the parking lot.
"We think that the passengers who use this MARC train station daily are going to like what they see," he said.
The first phase of construction involved the demolition of the old post office building, rehabilitation of the train platform and storm water management.
In the second phase, the restrooms, ticket machines and two ramps from the existing platforms to the Edgewood Road underpass were built. A new platform shelter, pavement and other aesthetic improvements were also made.
Final touches are still needed, Sviatko added, including interior finishing, paving and landscape work.
Commenting on the federal funding for the project, Sviatko expressed gratitude for those who partnered with MTA on the new station.
"From our point of view," he said, "the project would not have been completed without the help of our federal partners."
In a news release, MTA Administrator Ralign T. Wells said: "As the MTA strives to implement Governor Martin O'Malley's MARC Growth and Investment plan, our partnership with the federal government is critical."
"Thanks to the tremendous work being done by the Maryland Congressional delegation we are improving the system for MARC customers and supporting jobs for Marylanders," Wells added.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski noted in a news release from Ruppersberger's office that a "strong, modern transportation and mass transit system is critical to commuters in Harford County."
"These federal dollars will make sure that the Aberdeen Proving Ground MARC station will keep our people moving and businesses booming, especially with the great opportunities as well as great challenges that come with BRAC," she said. "That's why I fight to put funds in the federal checkbook to help meet the increased demands BRAC places on our communities. Federal funds for Maryland transit systems help keep Marylanders on the move."