Crew conducts controlled demolition for Baltimore bridge span

Unified Command crews carried out a controlled demolition Monday to break down the largest remaining span of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, more than a month after it collapsed.

A link of explosives was set off Monday, sending the crumpled steel section off the grounded Dali container ship and into the water in seconds. The demolition marked a significant step in the massive cleanup process and freed up the 984-foot ship, which had been stuck in the water since the March collapse.

The Dali, on March 26, was attempting to leave the Port of Baltimore when it lost power and crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The cargo ship was able to issue a last-minute mayday call to stop traffic, but eight construction workers were unable to get off the bridge in time.

Two workers were rescued and survived, and the bodies of six victims were recovered in the weeks that followed.

The demolition will permit the Dali to be refloated and removed from the water. The Port of Baltimore and the area surrounding the collapse has been closed off to most maritime traffic, and the removal of the Dali will allow traffic to resume.

The Port of Baltimore called the demolition a “significant milestone” on social platform X.

Unified Command said last week crews were using “precision cuts with small charges” to control how the trusses break down in a safe and efficient manner. Crews will now use hydraulic grabbers to lift the remaining sections of steel onto barges, The Associated Press reported.

The Maryland Department of Transportation said earlier this month the repair costs will be between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion and estimated the rebuild process will take just more than four years.

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