Army Corps of Engineers Deploy for Bridge Collapse

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

( – Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is deploying a team of over 1,100 experts to assist in the aftermath. This response, announced in a statement by the Army, includes engineers, construction, contracting, and operations specialists from the Baltimore District’s Emergency Operations Center to aid in managing the debris from the collapsed bridge.

The incident occurred when the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a critical infrastructure piece in Baltimore, was struck by the Dali, a cargo vessel operated by Synergy Marine Group and owned by Singapore’s Grace Ocean Private Ltd. This led to a catastrophic collapse that resulted in cars and construction personnel, who were working on the bridge, falling into the cold waters of the Patapsco River. Six individuals involved in the incident are currently missing and feared deceased.

The collapse of the bridge is anticipated to severely impact Baltimore’s economy, particularly affecting the port activities vital for importing vehicles and food products, as well as exporting coal. According to state data, the port handles significant traffic, including 850,000 car and truck imports, and the bridge itself facilitates the daily commute of approximately 30,000 vehicles. Consequently, maritime traffic to and from the port is on hold, although truck access remains operational.

In response to this disaster, President Joe Biden assured Baltimore of the federal government’s full support, committing to providing necessary resources for emergency response and the reconstruction of the port.

The USACE plans to utilize specific vessels like the Reynolds for extracting bridge remnants from the river and ensuring safe navigation in the Baltimore Harbor and Patapsco River. Another vessel, the 61-foot Catlett, will be employed to assess the extent of the damage.

The U.S. Coast Guard, having been involved in initial search and rescue operations, is set to spearhead the investigation into the accident and manage any resulting environmental pollution.

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