Maryland Commits to New Standards Reconstructing the Key Bridge for a Safer Tomorrow

Maryland Commits to New Standards: Reconstructing the Key Bridge for a Safer Tomorrow

Six construction workers were killed last week when the Francis Scott Key Bridge fell. The Maryland Transportation Authority met on Thursday to remember them.

Paul Wiedefeld, the secretary of transportation for Maryland, told the board, “Tuesday, March 26, will forever be marked in our hearts and minds as a tragic course of events on so many levels.”

Wiedefeld said of the families of the people who died, “It’s hard to imagine how they are grieving and dealing with such a huge loss.” After that, he asked for a moment of quiet.

The plans for healing and rebuilding were brought up to date during the meeting.

Lt. Colonel Corey McKenzie of the MDTA Police said, “Certainly, we continue to mourn the loss of the six lives [of the construction workers], and our number one priority remains to do whatever we can to help recover the four remaining victims that have been lost.” Two boats are in the water 24 hours a day to help clear the area of debris.

Cindy Penny-Ardinger, a member of the MDTA board, said that the fall of the bridge and the deaths were “an unimaginable loss.” She also asked, “Have we thought about what it will take to build the new bridge?”

Wiedefeld said that efforts have been made to speed up the process of planning and building a new bridge, but there are still a lot of problems, such as money problems, that need to be fixed.

Wiedefeld said, “We will rebuild a bridge that meets today’s standards.” He also said that the Key Bridge was almost 50 years old.

More than 17,000 bridges in the US are considered “fracture-critical” by the National Transportation Safety Board. The Key Bridge is one of them. Jen Homendy, Chair of the NTSB, said last week that investigators will ask for and look over the Key Bridge inspection records from the past 10 years.

Chief engineer for the MDTA James Harkness told the board that the state has gotten $60 million from the Biden Administration for emergency relief.

Harkness said that MDTA has begun some preliminary work to figure out how it can move forward with planning and building a new bridge.

He said they wanted to get going quickly.

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