Biden to visit Baltimore for rail tunnel project kickoff  

President Biden
Greg Nash
President Biden walks over to talk with reporters before heading towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, January 27, 2023. Biden will spend the weekend in Camp David in Maryland and Wilmington, Del.

President Biden on Monday will visit Baltimore for the launch of a project to replace a 150-year-old tunnel causing rail bottlenecks between the nation’s capital and New Jersey.

The replacement rail tunnel — funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law — is set to improve the travel woes of millions of commuters who face delays down the existing 1.4-mile Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, which first opened just after the Civil War in the mid-19th century.

The new tunnel, which will be named after Maryland abolitionist Frederick Douglass, will create approximately 20,000 direct construction jobs, according to the White House, as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law’s $66 billion investment in passenger rail. 

Biden is set to announce an agreement between Maryland and Amtrak in which the state’s transportation agency pledges $450 million for the project and a deal between Amtrak and the Baltimore-DC Building and Construction Trades Council to make sure the project creates union jobs.

The Frederick Douglass Tunnel will likely cost $6 billion, of which Biden’s infrastructure law funding could cover up to $4.7 billion, according to the White House.

Biden will be accompanied by Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D), Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to kick off work on the new tunnel.

Biden then heads on Tuesday to New York City to discuss a project to work on the Hudson Tunnel, also funded by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law. 

Tags Amtrak Baltimore Ben Cardin Biden Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Frederick Douglass Joe Biden maryland Pete Buttigieg rail

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