The Virginia Avenue Tunnel in southeast Washington, D.C., is a crucial part of the United States’ East Coast railroad network. The tunnel lets trains move freight between key ports, manufacturing centers, and consumer markets. Parts of the existing tunnel were constructed in 1872. The tunnel needs to be replaced to meet the growing demands of the American economy and support the increase in freight traffic.
CSX is replacing the old tunnel with two new tunnels, which will be tall enough to let trains carry two freight containers stacked on each car. These trains, called double-stack intermodal freight trains, will carry consumer goods like televisions, clothing and furniture. Double-stack trains can carry twice as much freight as a single-stack train, which helps meet America’s growing need to move more goods by train. Moving more freight on trains also helps reduce highway congestion, maintenance costs and emissions from trucks. Additionally, this project will help better serve customers, bring jobs to the local community, and position the Greater Washington region and the nation for economic growth.
Construction, which started in May 2015, will take up to 42 months to complete. This construction plan was selected by the federal and D.C. governments after a careful review process. Residents who live near the Virginia Avenue Tunnel also played a significant role in shaping the plan. CSX is working with its design-build partner, Clark/Parsons JV, to complete construction.
CSX is committed to completing this project the right way – safely, efficiently, and with respect for our neighbors. We are taking steps to reduce the impact of this project, including:
- Ensuring access for emergency vehicles.
- Limiting construction hours.
- Limiting high-vibration activities to weekday daytime hours.
- Controlling dust and reducing construction noise and vibrations.
- Working closely with the District Department of Transportation to monitor and maintain traffic flow.
- Addressing a problem if it occurs. We have a straightforward proven claims process to pay for actual damages we cause.
- Creating a community fund to offset construction inconveniences.
- Providing information and listening to our neighbors.