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Amtrak awards Susquehanna River Rail Bridge project to Flatiron/Herzog JV

The Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture will replace the century-old bridge, unveiling Amtrak’s next-gen Acela capabilities and elevating rail travel in the Northeast.


Amtrak has tapped the Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture as their prime contractor to deliver the $1.5B Susquehanna River Rail Bridge project. This is a priority project for Amtrak to relieve a significant bottleneck in the Northeast Corridor (NEC). The new Susquehanna River bridges will reduce trip times and increase service reliability for Amtrak Acela and regional passenger service. Amtrak’s next-generation high-speed Acela train sets will be able to reach max speeds of 160 mph through this section of the NEC once the project’s bridge and rail corridor improvements are completed. Herzog is excited to kick off this landmark Amtrak bridge project that advances essential NEC infrastructure upgrades.

Located north of Baltimore, MD, and stretching across the Susquehanna River, the project will replace the existing bridge structure, built in 1906, with two new mega rail bridge structures. The existing 117-year-old bridge is the largest movable bridge along the NEC and due to its age, trains are forced to slow down to 90 mph. Over 110 trains from Amtrak, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC), and Norfolk Southern Railway cross the bridge daily carrying nearly 18,000 passengers.

The project is being delivered using Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). The Flatiron/Herzog team is collaborating with Amtrak and their designer to fast-track pre-construction design services and initiate early work packages for critical work items through 2024. Once the design is complete, the Flatiron/Herzog team will begin bridge construction activities which are anticipated to begin in 2025.

The construction of the new two-track bridges is split into two phases. Phase 1 construction begins in 2025 and lasts until 2030. Phase two will then begin in 2031 and is scheduled to last until 2036. Phase 1 will see the construction of the west bridge structure adjacent to the existing rail bridge. Train traffic will be shifted from the old bridge onto the new west bridge once it is completed. The old bridge will then be demolished. The east bridge structure will be constructed in Phase 2. Each of these new bridges will be over 4,000 feet long and includes a signature 400-foot-long tied arch channel span providing a 60 feet vertical clearance for the passage of ships.

The overall project alignment stretches five miles and includes reconstructed bridge approaches with track, overhead catenary systems, and signals reconfigurations and upgrades to enable maximum allowable train speeds of up to 160 mph on the east bridge.

For more information on the project, view Amtrak’s announcement here.