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Maryland Receives $60M for Baltimore Bridge Rebuild

Photo: Reuters

US Government Allocates $60 Million Emergency Funds for Francis Scott Key Bridge Rebuilding

In response to the catastrophic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Harbor, the United States government swiftly disbursed $60 million in emergency aid to Maryland. The bridge's sudden failure occurred when a cargo freighter lost power and collided with the structure, resulting in casualties and extensive damage.

President Biden's directive to expedite assistance underscores the gravity of the situation. Maryland Governor Wes Moore's prompt request for funds was met with rapid approval from the US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, a process that typically takes days but was accelerated due to the urgent need for action.

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The collapse, which claimed the lives of two individuals with four more missing and presumed dead, highlights the urgency of recovery efforts. The primary focus is on locating and retrieving the missing construction workers, who were conducting repairs on the bridge when the freighter struck.

Moreover, officials are tasked with clearing the waterway to restore shipping operations, attending to the needs of affected workers, families, and first responders, and initiating the reconstruction of the bridge. However, the complex task of removing the stranded vessel, loaded with thousands of containers and trapped beneath bridge debris, poses a significant challenge.

To address this, the US Army Corps of Engineers is mobilizing the largest crane on the Eastern Seaboard. The sheer magnitude of the operation is evident in Governor Moore's description of the vessel, emphasizing its size and the immense weight of the debris atop it.

Furthermore, diving operations to search for victims were suspended due to safety concerns stemming from the dense debris obstructing visibility. The formidable task ahead includes navigating through the wreckage, relying heavily on tactile senses due to limited visibility.

Estimates suggest that the reconstruction of the bridge could cost upwards of $2 billion, necessitating significant federal funding. Maryland officials anticipate further requests for assistance as damage assessments progress.

The closure of the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest on the US Eastern Seaboard, underscores the broader economic implications of the disaster. As recovery efforts continue and reconstruction plans unfold, federal support remains indispensable in restoring essential infrastructure and facilitating the region's recovery.

March 29, 2024 7:37 p.m. 10000

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