U.S. Provides $60 Million Emergency Relief Fund To Rebuild Francis Scott Key Bridge

Baltimore Bridge
Screengrab from YouTube video by KHOU 11

US President Joe Biden’s administration extended $60 million as emergency funds to support the reconstruction and cleanup efforts during Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge catastrophe.

On Thursday, the Federal Highway Administration declared that it handed over “quick release” funds to rebuild the disintegrated bridge within hours of accepting a request from Maryland’s Department of Transportation.

The quick disbursement of funds came through after Biden earlier in the week mentioned that he’d directed the government to move heaven and earth if needed to rebuild the bridge that collapsed on Tuesday on being struck by a cargo vessel.

Shailen Bhatt, the Federal Highway Administrator, said they are supporting Biden’s whole-of-government approach to this tragic incident and that the federal government is dedicated to providing all necessary resources to rebuild the bridge.

The FHWA’s Emergency Relief program offers funds to states, tribes, territories, and federal land management agencies to repair roadways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic occurrences.

The “quick release” Emergency Relief finances are a starting step toward restoring critical transportation. The Emergency Relief program will provide additional financing for the bridge’s rebuilding through nationwide allocations.


Video Credits: KHOU 11/YouTube

The FHWA additionally offers technical support, conducts site evaluations, and manages emergency contracts for the replacement bridge.

Nobody will forget the shocking photos of a container ship striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge, making its collapse and leading to the loss of six, Pete Buttigieg, the US Transportation Secretary, mentioned in a statement.

The federal emergency funds will help Maryland begin the much-needed urgent work, followed by resources as rebuilding and recovery efforts progress.

Biden has been clear: The federal government will do everything it takes to rebuild the bridge and restart the Port of Baltimore.

The declaration of funds came as Wes Moore, Maryland’s governor, warned of a long road ahead for recovering from the tragedy. Specialists are considering how to remove the Singapore-flagged Dali from the crumpled wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The Dali is nearly as long as Paris’ Eiffel Tower and has the Key Bridge on top of it. Moore mentioned that we’re talking about 3,000/4,000 tons of steel sitting on top of that vessel.

Authorities have said that they need clear wreckage from the ocean floor to reach the bodies of four missing employees thought to be trapped in their vehicles in a “superstructure” of concrete as well as other debris.

Divers on Wednesday recovered the bodies of two dead workers from a pick-up truck close to the middle span of the bridge.

Federal officials informed Maryland’s lawmakers the final costs of reconstructing the bridge may reach $2 billion, Roll Call reported, referring to a source familiar with these discussions.

Reference: Aljazeera, transportation.gov

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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