Aberdeen will host a number of state and federal officials at its Amtrak/MARC train station off Route 40 next week in a bid to make improvements to the aging station — in line with President Joe Biden’s goal of investing in infrastructure, the city announced in a statement.
Among the improvements being proposed by city officials would be the removal of a pedestrian overpass built in 1982 that has “effectively segregated Aberdeen into two distinct socially diverse areas and needs to be addressed,” according to a statement from the city.
“This concrete behemoth structure built in 1982 makes it difficult for Aberdeen’s vulnerable ‘East Side’ community to cross the rail line where they have limited access to fresh foods, job opportunities and the rest of the City,” according to the statement.
Officials are proposing a pedestrian underpass be constructed in its place. It also wants to ensure the station’s handicapped accessibility and construct terraced plazas to improve overall accessibility, according to the statement.
The train station on East Bel Air Avenue is in serious need of improvements, officials said in the statement, and the city’s proposals would make accessing the train station easier and remove the barrier between the two sides of the city.
Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady said fixing the longstanding issues of equity within the city can beget new development and opportunity for its citizens.
“We can invest in our blue-collar communities like Aberdeen, and we can show a real return on the investment of federal and state resources by spurring new private development and in creating opportunities,” he said in the statement.
On Wednesday, Sept. 1, the mayor and city council expect to host Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Harford County’s state delegation, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and Harford county councilmembers — along with Amtrak, State and Harford County agencies and Aberdeen Proving Ground’s garrison leadership.
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Ruppersberger, also in the statement, said he was interested in hearing more about the project and working to secure federal resources for it.