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Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge

Published: 29th Mar, 2024

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge

Context

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after a container ship smashed into a pylon.

About the Bridge

  • The Francis Scott Key Bridge was one of three ways to cross the Baltimore Harbor and handled 31,000 cars per day or 11.3 million vehicles a year.
  • The steel structure is four lanes wide and sits 185 feet (56 meters) above the river.
  • It opened in 1977 and crosses the Patapsco River.
  • The bridge leads to the Port of Baltimore, the deepest harbor in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.
  • Reason behind the collapse: The metal truss-style bridge has a suspended deck, a design that contributed to its collapse, engineers say. The ship appeared to hit a main concrete pier, which rests on soil underwater and is part of the foundation.

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