Long-time readers of REVITALIZATION will remember that we’ve covered the renovation and modernization of Baltimore, Maryland‘s historic Penn Station—and revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood—several times over the years.
Those efforts got a nice boost on August 11, 2022, when the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $6 million to the project via the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.
“Serving more than three million passengers a year, Penn Station is the nation’s rail gateway to Baltimore and its local neighborhoods. Investing in the station and its vicinity by creating safer and more useful connections between trains, buses, pedestrian and bike access, is one of the most important things we can do to support the city’s economy and livability,” Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin said.
“This grant is a prime example of why we fought to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is transforming neighborhoods by creating jobs and local opportunities across the country. Team Maryland will continue to deliver federal funding for locally-driven projects that strengthen our communities,” they added.
The lawmakers worked to authorize the RAISE grant program at $12.5 billion over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
For Fiscal Year 2022, the program was funded at $2.275 billion from both the infrastructure law and the FY22 omnibus appropriations bill.
These federal funds for the Building Baltimore Penn Station Connections Project, which the lawmakers supported, supplements the $5 million congressional earmark the delegation obtained for the project in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill to increase multimodal mobility, safety, and connectivity.
The Maryland Department of Transportation describes the project as offering “comprehensive benefits to Baltimore City residents and the region“, which include:
- Improving the safety of transportation options with well-designed streets that support safe walking, biking, transit use and for-hire vehicle use;
- Providing more reliable transit travel times;
- Supporting projected doubling of rail passenger ridership by 2040 with multi-modal connections to the station; and
- Leveraging the $100 million+ commitment from Amtrak to redevelop and expand the historic station.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation investment in American infrastructure that will provide more than $7 billion in federal funding directly to Maryland over five years to strengthen our roads and bridges, along with our water infrastructure, broadband internet, climate resilience, and more.
The lawmakers say they worked to enact this law in Congress to create good jobs, grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world, and make the U.S. transportation system more sustainable and equitable.
Images of the renovated Penn Station courtesy of the Beatty Development Group.