BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan and transportation officials on Monday will break ground for the Howard Street Tunnel Expansion Project, which will enlarge the 126-year-old tunnel to accommodate trains with double-stacked containers traveling to and from the Port of Baltimore.

The Maryland Port Administration said Friday that Hogan will be joined by CSX CEO Jim Foote, Federal Railroad Administration deputy administrator Amit Bose, Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater, and Maryland Port Administration executive director William P. Doyle at the 1 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony.

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The project will expand the CSX-owned tunnel and 21 other locations to make room for double-stacked rail cars, allowing business at the port to grow by about 160,000 containers, officials said Friday.

In June, Hogan announced the project received a “Finding of No Significant Impact” as part of a review under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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Double stacking also will provide a more cost-effective way to transport freight by rail compared to trucks, reducing congestion along the I-95 corridor and delivering environmental benefits with fewer emissions, the governor’s office said at the time.

The Port of Baltimore has seen a flurry of activity in 2021 with the completion of a dredging project to create a second container berth and the arrival of four large cranes that will double the container capacity once the tunnel expansion is complete.

President Joe Biden appeared at the port earlier this month to tout the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes $17 billion to modernize the nation’s ports. The president also promoted federal funding to the Howard Street Tunnel project.

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“By investing in our roads, our bridges, our ports, and so much else, this bill’s going to make it easier for companies to get good to markets more quickly,” he said.

CBS Baltimore Staff