The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26, 2024 was a catastrophic event that sent shockwaves through the city and the broader region. This iconic bridge, which had stood as a vital transportation link for nearly five decades, was suddenly reduced to rubble after being struck by a massive cargo ship.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was no ordinary structure. It was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world, spanning over 1.6 miles across the Patapsco River and serving as a crucial artery for commuters and commercial traffic alike. The bridge was named after the author of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and was considered a landmark of Baltimore’s maritime heritage.

Immediate Impact: Casualties and Disruptions

The bridge’s collapse had far-reaching consequences. Six construction workers were presumed dead, with two bodies recovered, after their vehicles plunged into the river. The closure of the bridge and the surrounding waterway also dealt a severe blow to the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest ports on the East Coast. Maryland Governor Wes Moore estimated that over 8,000 jobs were impacted, with losses of $15 million per day due to the disruption of shipping and commerce.

This disaster was particularly devastating given the port’s outsized importance to the regional and national economy. In 2023, the Port of Baltimore handled over 444,000 passengers and 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo valued at $80 billion, making it a vital hub for the automotive industry and other key sectors. The closure of the bridge and the port threatened to ripple through supply chains and disrupt the livelihoods of thousands of workers.

The Road to Recovery and Rebuilding Efforts

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was a stark reminder of the fragility of critical infrastructure and the need for robust safety measures, particularly in high-traffic maritime environments. The investigation into the cause of the accident, which was attributed to a loss of propulsion on the cargo ship “Dali” leading to a collision with the bridge’s support column, will undoubtedly prompt scrutiny of ship navigation protocols and bridge design standards.

As Baltimore and the surrounding region grapple with the aftermath of this tragedy, the rebuilding and recovery efforts will be closely watched. The Francis Scott Key Bridge was more than just a transportation link - it was a symbol of Baltimore’s resilience and its role as a vital hub of maritime commerce. Restoring this bridge and the port’s operations will be crucial not only for the city, but for the broader economic health of the entire Mid-Atlantic region, resonating here into Philadelphia and well beyond.

The Role of Fulginiti Law in Catastrophic Injury

At Fulginiti Law, we have been practicing Catastrophic Injury law, as well as Maritime law for decades. The point of intersection between a catastrophic injury, and something like a bridge collapse can be more complex than it even appears at first glance. Structural collapses are an area of law that requires a lot of expertise and even more experience. Contact your legal advocates at Fulginiti Law today if you or a loved one has been injured or affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore.