Crews Perform Controlled Demolition to Remove Last Section of Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore after Collapse (VIDEO) | The Gateway Pundit

Baltimore Bridge Demolition Frees Stranded Ship After Tragic Collapse

In a dramatic display of controlled demolition, crews successfully brought down the largest remaining span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. The purpose of the demolition was to free the Dali, a container ship that had been stuck in Baltimore harbor for 48 days following a tragic accident.

The incident occurred when the ship lost power and collided with one of the bridge’s support columns shortly after departing the harbor on March 26. The collision resulted in the collapse of the bridge, claiming the lives of six construction workers and disrupting maritime traffic in the area.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge holds significant importance as a commuter route carrying the Baltimore Beltway I-695 over the Patapsco River at the southern end of the Baltimore Harbor. It is also the state’s primary thoroughfare for hazardous materials, as they are prohibited from traveling through the underwater roadway tunnels in Baltimore.

Witnesses watched as the mangled steel trusses of the bridge plunged into the water below during the carefully planned demolition. The operation was designed to prevent further contact with the stranded vessel and allow it to be refloated.

Officials confirmed the success of the detonation and indicated that the next phase of the cleanup would involve assessing the remaining trusses on the Dali’s bow. This assessment is crucial to ensuring that no underwater wreckage hinders the ship from being refloated and moved.

Last month, the U.S. Naval Institute reported that the Chesapeake, the largest crane on the East Coast, had arrived to aid in the cleanup efforts following the Dali’s collision with the bridge. The Chesapeake, previously known as the SUN 800, has a history related to assisting in high-profile missions, including the recovery of the Soviet Golf II ballistic missile submarine K-129 in 1968.

As the cleanup continues, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDTA) estimates that the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge will be completed by fall 2028. The projected costs for the reconstruction range from $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion, according to the Washington Post.

Experts suggest that the reconstruction process could take up to a decade to complete. Professor Benjamin Schafer from Johns Hopkins University believes it could take a decade or longer to rebuild the bridge, while engineering professor Sameh Badie from George Washington University notes that the cost would depend on the new design.

The original Francis Scott Key Bridge, which opened in 1977 at an estimated cost of $110 million, took five years to build. The current rebuilding project is expected to be significantly more complex and time-consuming due to the scale of the collapse and the need to ensure the safety and functionality of the new structure.