March 21, 2024

Van Hollen, Cardin Announce $800,000 for Planning to Improve Access to Aberdeen Train Station, Cross-City Connection

Lawmakers announce over $11 million in total to reconnect communities across Maryland, secured through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced $800,000 for the City of Aberdeen’s Transit Oriented Development Station Square Improvement Project. This federal funding will support the design planning for improvements to facilitate more accessible connectivity to the multi-modal transportation services for the community through an underpass, with the additional goals of promoting redevelopment surrounding the train station and spurring new economic activity on the City’s Main Street.

The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and provided through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program – an initiative the Senators fought successfully to include in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The RCP provisions in the infrastructure law were modeled off of legislation authored by Senator Van Hollen and introduced as a bill by Senator Van Hollen and Senator Cardin. Cardin championed the legislation in his role as the Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the Senate. In November, the Senators sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in support of MDOT’s grant application.

“The outdated pedestrian infrastructure at Aberdeen’s Train Station not only limits accessibility to public transportation services, it also hinders travel across the City. Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we secured funding to update the infrastructure of the past – like this – and lay the foundation for a future of connectivity and more economic prosperity,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

“Station Square is the busiest stop in Harford County, but its old, outdated transportation infrastructure cannot adequately serve this growing community. Modernizing the Aberdeen Train Station will better support the capacity of Amtrak, MARC and Harford Transit buses while also making the area safer for bikers and pedestrians,” said Senator Cardin. “Team Maryland is delivering the resources needed to help Aberdeen’s communities grow safer and more connected.”

“I am so pleased to announce the $800,0000 to continue with this project. The project will bring quality jobs to the area and provide residents and visitors an improved and accessible commuting experience. I appreciate the support of Sens. Van Hollen and Cardin and Rep. Harris. We look forward to continuing our partnership to see this project to completion,” said Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady.

This funding is in addition to a direct federal investment of $4 million that the Senators delivered last year for upgrades to the Aberdeen Station through the fiscal year 2023 government funding legislation.

The Aberdeen Train Station is a hub for both Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) and Amtrak as well as regional bus service, but this station bisects the city in Harford County, separating communities on the east and west sides of the rail line. The proposed ADA-compliant underpass is intended to improve pedestrian accessibility to the Aberdeen Train Station and promote redevelopment in the surrounding area, replacing the current non-ADA compliant tunnel and non-ADA compliant pedestrian bridge that create a barrier within the community.

This award is one of six federal grants totaling more than $11 million that the federal lawmakers are announcing for Maryland to address infrastructure that has divided communities in our state. The awards are funded by the RCP Program and the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program, which the lawmakers worked to create and fund through the Inflation Reduction Act.