Demolition of collapsed Baltimore bridge delayed due to bad weather

12 May 2024, 21:54

Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse
Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse. Picture: PA

The controlled demolition will allow the Dali container ship to be refloated and guided back into the Port of Baltimore.

The controlled demolition of the largest remaining steel span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has been postponed because of weather conditions.

Crews have been preparing for weeks to use explosives to break down the span, which is an estimated 500ft long and weighs up to 600 tons.

It landed on the ship’s bow after the Dali lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s support columns shortly after leaving Baltimore. Since then, the ship has been stuck amidst the wreckage and Baltimore’s busy port has been closed to most maritime traffic.

Officials said the demolition had been tentatively moved to Monday evening. They said lightning in the area and rising tides on Sunday prompted them to reschedule.

Maryland Bridge Collapse
The controlled demolition will allow the Dali to be refloated and guided back into the Port of Baltimore (Christopher Rosario/US Army Corps of Engineers via AP)

Six members of a roadworks crew plunged to their deaths in the March 26 collapse. The last of their bodies was recovered from the underwater wreckage last week.

All the victims were Latino immigrants who came to the US for job opportunities. They were filling potholes on an overnight shift when the bridge was destroyed.

The controlled demolition will allow the Dali to be refloated and guided back into the Port of Baltimore. Once the ship is removed, maritime traffic can begin returning to normal, which will provide relief for thousands of truckers and small business owners who have seen their jobs affected by the closure.

The Dali’s 21-member crew will stay onboard the ship while the explosives are detonated.

William Marks, a spokesperson for the crew, said they would shelter “in a designated safe place” during the demolition. “All precautions are being taken to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said..

Officials said the demolition is the safest and most efficient way to remove steel under a high level of pressure and tension.

“It’s unsafe for the workers to be on or in the immediate vicinity of the bridge truss for those final cuts,” officials said

By Press Association

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