United States Procurement News Notice - 63028

Procurement News Notice

PNN 63028
Work Detail A ship collision has caused a highway bridge collapse in Baltimore. A major road bridge in Baltimore has collapsed due to being struck by a vessel passing underneath, with fatal results. As many as seven vehicles, including a large truck, are thought to have been on the bridge when it collapsed and a search for any survivors is underway. Two people have so far been rescued, one of whom is reported as seriously injured. Up to 20 people are thought to have been plunged into the river when the bridge collapsed. The police are treating the collapse as a mass casualty incident. Eight construction workers were on the bridge at the time of the disaster and six of those are amongst the missing. The 2.6km Francis Scott Key Bridge carries I-695 and is a key transport link between New York City and Washington DC. Had the disaster occurred during the peak travel times, the casualty list would have been been more horrific. The bridge was struck at around 1.30am by a 290m container vessel registered in Singapore, the Dali, which had been heading to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Baltimore is a busy port and the Patapsco River is a major thoroughfare for shipping. The bridge opened to traffic in 1977 and features a high central section to allow large vessels to pass underneath. Port traffic has been stopped following the bridge collapse and a state of emergency has been declared. Video footage of the disaster shows the vessel colliding with the bridge supports for part of the central section. Reports suggest that the vessel lost propulsion immediately before the incident, which would have made such a ship hard to control. The waterway is blocked by the wreckage and the port cannot be accessed by shipping. The bridge was inspected recently and was up to code but predates the introduction of such large vessels. Protection for the bridge supports would not have been able to withstand the impact of such a large vessel. The crew of the ship were all reported uninjured. However, questions are being asked about the vessel. It was reportedly involved in an incident in 2016 in the port of Antwerp when it hit part of the dock. The disaster also throws into question the state of many bridges in the US once more. The American Road and Transport Builders Association (ARTBA) has been warning about the poor condition of US road bridges for many years and has statistics on the problem that reveal the worrying lack of investment over decades. While the current administration has managed to overcome the political deadlock on infrastructure spending to some degree, and has begun turning the tide of poor bridge condition in the US, the issue over many key highway bridges being functionally obsolete remains and far more investment yet needs to be made to address the problem. The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) has made an official statement that it is, “…deeply saddened by the tragic collapse early this morning of the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Maryland. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of life and devastation caused by this catastrophic event. According to reports, the collapse occurred after the bridge was struck by a container ship, leading to a significant portion of the structure falling into the river below. The impact of this incident has been felt not only by the people of Baltimore and Maryland but also by the entire region, as the Francis Scott Key Bridge serves as a vital link in the transportation network. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those affected by this tragedy. We extend our deepest condolences to the community as they grapple with this unimaginable loss. Additionally, we stand in solidarity with the Maryland Department of Transportation and our member, the Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the Francis Scott Key Bridge. We offer our full support and assistance as they work tirelessly to assess the situation, conduct rescue operations, and begin the process of recovery and rebuilding. As an organisation dedicated to promoting the safety and resilience of transportation infrastructure, IBTTA recognises the importance of thorough investigations into the causes of such incidents to prevent future tragedies. We remain committed to working with authorities and stakeholders to ensure the safety and integrity of bridges and other critical transportation assets. In this time of sorrow and uncertainty, let us come together as a community to support one another and offer assistance to those in need. The road to recovery will be long, but with resilience, determination, and the support of each other, we will overcome this tragedy.
Country United States , Northern America
Industry Construction
Entry Date 28 Mar 2024
Source https://www.worldhighways.com/wh10/news/bridge-collapse-disaster-baltimore

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