Amtrak to install heavy-duty fence at Middle River
Amtrak plans to install a heavy-duty, 8-foot-high steel fence along the stretch of its Northeast Corridor in Middle River where a 14-year-old girl was killed in January 2010.
The national passenger railroad announced Friday that it would spend $3.1 million to install 6,400 feet of fencing between Martin Boulevard and Stemmers Run Road. That section of track includes the area where Anna Marie Stickel (right) was struck and killed by an Amtrak train while walking along the tracks as she too a popular but unauthorized local shortcut to Kenwood High School.
Amtrak said the project would also include improvements to a pedestrian underpass at Martin Boulevard that some local residents now avoid because of its darkness. The railroad said the work will take about six months to complete.
Since Anna's death, Amtrak has come under pressure from her mother, Tara Stickel, and U.S. Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger to improve safety conditions in the area. Between Stemmers Run and Martin Boulevard there are stretches of track where there is no barrier to pedestrian access to the tracks. In other sections, the existing chain link fence is decades old and in poor condition.
The poor condition of Amtrak's fences in the area was the subject of a February 2010 Getting There column. The actions Amtrak announced Friday appear to be exactly what was called for in that article.
Photo courtesy of Tara Stickel