Construction set to begin on garage NORTH COUNTY -- Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

March 29, 1993

A new five-story parking garage planned for the Amtrak station at Baltimore-Washington International Airport should be completed by spring or summer 1994, a state transportation official said.

Construction of the $11 million structure could start as early as June, said Charles E. Blank, an assistant chief engineer for the Mass Transit Administration.

The garage will be built on the parking lot in front of the Amtrak station -- which also doubles as a Maryland Rail Commuter station. There will be about 1,100 spaces in the garage, 1,600 spaces overall.

The existing lot holds 584 cars.

Mr. Blank said officials had considered expanding the lot, but could not because the lot is boxed in by wetlands, Indian artifacts and endangered plants.

"The only place to go was up," he said.

He said the garage could be expanded to eight stories in the future, but five should be enough to handle the overflow of parking that now exists.

The state currently leases additional spaces from Westinghouse, but Mr. Blank said it is too far for people to walk.

"The distance from the Westinghouse parking lot is unbearable, especially for the Amtrak traveler who is carrying a suitcase and is going to Florida," Mr. Blank said. "And if Westinghouse builds back up, they will take those spots from us."

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