A federally mandated study of four sites in central Maryland for a train-truck facility—three in the greater Elkridge area—has been halted as transportation officials look to Baltimore City for a CSX freight project instead.
Since March 2011, CSX and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) have been eyeing Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties for an intermodal facility that would serve as a regional hub for freight transfers.
Residents in greater Elkridge expressed concern about their health and property values should the large-scale operation be located nearby. Of the four sites being considered, one is on Hanover at Race roads; another, on Montevideo at Dorsey Run roads; a third at Brock Bridge Road; and another in Beltsville.
A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Transportation confirmed Monday in an email to Patch that study in the three counties, which was part of a federally mandated process, has stopped.
"...evaluation of the original four potential sites has been suspended as CSX and the state evaluate additional potential sites involving CSX-owned properties in Baltimore City," said Jack Cahalan, spokesman for MDOT, in an email.
MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration had been overseeing an environmental review process of the Hanover, Jessup and Beltsville sites, which was supposed to conclude by the end of the year, according to the timeline MDOT has posted on the project website.
A representative from the Federal Highway Administration said Monday that all sites were still being considered. "Nothing has been ruled out at this point," said Doug Hecox, spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, in a Sept. 4 email to Patch.
CSX-owned properties under consideration in Baltimore City are located in Curtis Bay, Locust Point, Mount Clair and Mount Winans, MDOT told The Baltimore Sun.
A facility in Baltimore City would likely be smaller than what was originally proposed for the nearby counties, according to The Baltimore Sun.
“CSX and the City of Baltimore have been in discussions regarding a potential facility development, which would be smaller and operate differently than initially proposed. Those discussions are ongoing,” Cahalan told Patch in June.
Cahalan referred questions to CSX regarding additional details on the smaller facility.
CSX has since declined to comment.
If a site in Baltimore were not selected for the facility, CSX and MDOT would return to the Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George's sites, according to The Baltimore Sun.
There is no timetable for completing study of the Baltimore City sites, Cahalan told Patch Sept. 4.
A clause in the state's FY 2013 budget stipulated that MDOT would not receive $500,000 of its appropriation unless it identified other sites for its freight project near Baltimore and submitted a report to the budget committee by October 2012.