More than 6,400 feet of fencing should be fully erected by the end of September along a stretch of train tracks where a Middle River teen was struck and killed last year.
Amtrak officials confirm that workers are on pace to complete the $3.1 million project within the timeframe they predicted when .
When completed, there will be nearly two miles of continuous fencing from Martin Boulevard to Stemmers Run Road. Individuals may also use the pedestrian underpass at Martin Boulevard, which will also be improved as part of the project, to safely cross to the other side of the tracks.
The section of track where the fence is being installed includes Acela Express and Northeast Regional service, as well as some freight train traffic, which operate at speeds up to 125 mph.
“When completed there will be a heavy steel high security fence, which we are confident will act as a deterrent for people thinking about going on the railroad tracks,” Amtrak spokesman Danelle Hunter said.
The upgrades are a welcomed site to Tara Stickel, whose daughter, Anna Marie Stickel, was struck and killed by an Amtrak train. The 14-year-old died on Jan. 5, 2010 after being struck while walking along the tracks as she took an unauthorized shortcut to Kenwood High School that was popular among many students for years.
The security upgrades come after months of lobbying by Tara Stickel, along with Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger for Amtrak to make improvements in safety conditions along that portion of the track. Stickel pushed heavily for safety improvements earlier this year at.
“The fence is beautiful,” Tara Stickel said. “I can only hope that it serves its purpose and that teens and even adults will stay off the track. The fence means so much to me and to anyone who knew or loved my Anna.
“It's symbolic of the love and passion we have for our cause ... to keep kids off the tracks and to bring something good out of a devastating tragedy. This is for Anna and I hope people will care enough to stay away from the tracks; if not for themselves and their safety, then for Anna and out of respect for her.”