Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

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By Bernard Rizk

Media Relations Agent, uOttawa

Cargo tanker on sea
Ian Taylor (Unsplash)
Academic experts available to provide context or comment on the following topic:

Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

Members of the media may directly contact:

Elena Dragomirescu( English only)

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

[email protected]

Professor Dragomirescu can explain why the collapse was unavoidable for the collision in question.

“The bridge was old (constructed in 1977), but well maintained, had a long mid span (366m) for this type of structure (3rd longest in the world for truss bridges), with a total length of 2,632 m. But in this case the massive collision which knocked down the pier is the cause of collapse. Even a brand-new bridge would have collapsed under similar circumstances. It would have required a much wider pier to stop the cargo ship, while still maintaining partial structural integrity.

What is interesting is the fact that it was considered a safe route for trucks caring hazardous materials, which are not allowed in the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry tunnels.”