Maryland Officials Release Timeline And Cost Estimate For Rebuilding Baltimore Bridge

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 06, 2024 - 08:15 AM

In the wake of a catastrophe that claimed the lives of six roadwork crew members and disrupted one of the nation’s busiest ports, Maryland has committed to a monumental task of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The project, set to be completed by the fall of 2028, is projected to cost between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion, according to David Broughton, spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Workers remove wreckage of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge (AP/Matt Rourke)

The announcement comes as state and federal agencies press forward with recovery efforts following the bridge's tragic collapse on March 26, which not only resulted in significant loss of life but also temporarily shut down the Port of Baltimore. The collapse occurred when a container ship, having lost power, struck one of the bridge’s main supports.

Fifth body recovered

Salvage operations achieved a somber milestone late Wednesday with the recovery of Miguel Angel Luna Gonzalez, 49, from Glen Burnie, Maryland, marking the last of five missing people identified after the accident. Gonzalez, along with the other victims, was working on the bridge when the disaster struck, AP reports.

Salvage teams found one of the missing construction vehicles Wednesday and notified the Maryland State Police, officials said. State police investigators and Maryland Transportation Authority Police officers and the FBI responded to the scene and recovered the body inside a red truck. The state police underwater recovery team and crime scene unit also assisted.

Governor Wes Moore expressed his condolences, reflecting the collective heartache: “We continue to pray for Miguel Angel Luna Gonzalez, his family, and all those who love him, acknowledging the anguish they have experienced since the Key Bridge collapsed. We pray for comfort, we pray for healing, and we pray for peace in knowing that their loved one has finally come home.”

(Photo: AP/Matt Rourke)

The detailed engineering plans for the new bridge are still under development, with state officials emphasizing both the urgency and the complexity of the design process. The new span not only promises to restore a critical infrastructural node but also aims to be a beacon of safety and innovation to prevent future tragedies.

Meanwhile, the broker for the bridge’s insurance policy confirmed Thursday that a $350 million payout will be made to the state of Maryland in what is expected to be the first of many payouts related to the collapse.

Chubb, the company that insured the bridge, is preparing to make the $350 million payment, according to WTW, the broker. Douglas Menelly, a spokesperson for WTW, on Thursday confirmed plans for the payout, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Chubb did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The Maryland Transportation Authority said Thursday that the state’s treasurer filed a claim on the day of the bridge’s collapse “against our $350 million property policy and put on notice our $150 million liability policy first tier carrier on behalf of MDTA.” -AP

The FBI, alongside Maryland State Police and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the collapse, ensuring that the lessons learned from this tragic event will forge a safer path forward for all.