Steel Shots: Threading the Needle

The new rail station and pedestrian bridge at Halethorpe Station uses 245 tons of structural steel in all. 

The Halethorpe Station is a key link in a long and crucial chain.

Each day, the station (in Halethorpe, Md.) accommodates 1,300 of the 39,000 passengers served by the Maryland Rail Commuter Service (MARC), making it one of the five busiest stations in the system and a key point along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC), the busiest passenger rail corridor in the U.S. However, the station didn’t meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, so in 2002, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) engaged Whitman, Requardt and Associates (WRA) to study and subsequently design a new station that would be ADA-compliant and able to accommodate current and potentially larger future passenger capacity. In addition, MTA requested that the station be unmanned and require minimal maintenance. It also intended to serve as a prototype for future new and upgraded MARC stations. Finally, the facility needed to be constructed without interrupting MARC rail service and that of the NEC. WRA completed design contract documents in 2008, the general contractor’s construction was underway by March 2011 and the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new station took place in August 2013.

To learn more about the project, read the article “Threading the Needle” in the current July issue of MSC. For a time-lapse video of the erection of the pedestrian bridge, visit