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Remaining Bridge Section Detonated As Baltimore Port Recovery Continues

Authorities in Baltimore successfully conducted the controlled demolition of the largest remaining steel section of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge this past Monday. The process utilized explosives to break down the 500-foot-long span, which had previously fallen onto the bow of the 213-million-pound Dali cargo ship during the initial accident on March 26th.

The latest demolition activity is a step in the right direction for getting the Port of Baltimore back in service.

Precision cutting techniques were used by engineers at the bridge to ensure a controlled demolition and breakdown of the bridge’s trusses. Following the detonation, the trusses fell into the water, where hydraulic grabbers lifted the fractured steel sections onto barges. The demolition resembled fireworks or thunder from a distance and was accompanied by smoke, as authorities had anticipated.

Originally planned for Saturday, the demolition was postponed to Sunday due to weather conditions, then rescheduled for Monday to ensure safety. 21 crew members of Dali remained on board during the explosion, taking shelter in a designated safe area. Officials assured that they are provided additional safety barriers, and fire teams were stationed nearby as a precautionary measure.

What’s next after the demolition for the recovery process?

After the demolition is completed, the next phase involves refloating the Dali and guiding it back into the Port of Baltimore which will allow maritime traffic to resume normal operations. The reopening of the port’s 50-foot-deep draft channel is planned by the end of May and is expected to provide much-needed relief to the affected community.

The bridge collapse incident has prompted multiple investigations to determine the cause and find who is responsible.

The demolition on Monday happened just before a vital hearing set for Wednesday by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. During this hearing, testimony is expected from key officials, including the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, representatives from the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. These testimonies aim to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the incident and identify measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. A comprehensive examination is necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of maritime infrastructure moving forward.


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