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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Amtrak have released a "finding of no significant impact" for the Susquehanna River rail bridge project, the agencies and railroad announced yesterday.The study's purpose was to determine the best way to provide continued rail connectivity along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, according to an MDOT press release.Amtrak owns the 112-year-old bridge, which spans the Susquehanna River between the town of Perryville and the city of Havre de Grace, Md. The bridge is used by Amtrak intercity trains, MARC commuter trains and Norfolk Southern Railway freight trains. The engineering and environmental study identifies Selected Alternative 9A for the new alignment and recommends replacing the existing two-track single bridge with two tracks each. The new bridges would be capable of supporting an increase in passenger-rail service along the East Coast.The FRA and MDOT issued the environmental assessment for the project in March. The statement announced yesterday completes the environmental study as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Documents are available for public review on the project website. At this time, additional funding is not available for full design and construction of the proposed new bridges. Amtrak will continue maintaining the Susquehanna Bridge and address comments on the project website, MDOT officials said.
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