Francis Scott Key Bridge (Baltimore)

Coordinates: 39°13′01″N 76°31′42″W / 39.21694°N 76.52833°W / 39.21694; -76.52833
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Francis Scott Key Bridge
The former Francis Scott Key Bridge, viewed from Fort Armistead Park at Hawkins Point on the south shore of the outer Patapsco River – southeastern corner of Baltimore City (2015)
Coordinates39°13′01″N 76°31′42″W / 39.21694°N 76.52833°W / 39.21694; -76.52833
Carries4 lanes of
CrossesPatapsco River
LocaleBaltimore, Maryland
Maintained byMaryland Transportation Authority
ID number300000BCZ472010
DesignSteel arch-shaped truss bridge
Total length8,636 feet (2,632.3 m; 1.6 mi)
Longest span1,200 feet (366 m)
Clearance above185 feet (56 m)[source?]
Construction start1972[1]
OpenedMarch 23, 1977 (1977-Mar-23)
DestroyedMarch 26, 2024 (2024-Mar-26)
TollYes (before collapse)

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was a steel arch truss bridge spanning the lower Patapsco River in the outer Baltimore Harbor, connecting Route 695 between Baltimore and Dundalk, Maryland, United States.[2] The bridge was the outermost of three toll road crossings of Baltimore Harbor's two tunnels and one bridge.

Construction of the bridge began in 1972 and was completed in 1977, and opened to traffic on March 23, 1977.[3][1] It was one of the world's longest truss bridges. The main span of 1,200 feet (366 m), was the third longest truss bridge in the world.[3][1]

It was originally known as the Outer Harbor Crossing until it was renamed in 1976, while still under construction, and was also known as simply the Key Bridge or Beltway Bridge.[4]

The bridge was named for the American amateur poet Francis Scott Key (1779–1843), the author of the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".[4]

On March 26, 2024, at 01:27 EDT (05:27 UTC), the bridge's center span collapsed after the Singaporean container ship Dali collided with one of the bridge's pillars.[5][6] At least seven vehicles fell into the water.[7] Two people were recovered from the river, one person had no injuries while the other was in "very serious condition". Six members of a construction crew were working on the roadway when it collapsed are missing, presumed dead.[8] 2 bodies have been found.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Francis Scott Key Bridge at Structurae
  2. Maryland State Highway Administration (2005). "Highway Location Reference: Baltimore City" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2024-03-26.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "World's Longest Bridge Spans" (PDF). Retrieved 2024-03-26.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Harbor Bridge Named For Francis Scott Key". The Baltimore Sun. 1976-06-22. p. C5. Retrieved 2024-03-26 – via
  5. "Key Bridge in Baltimore collapses after large boat collision". WTOP News. 2024-03-26. Retrieved 2024-03-26.
  6. "Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapses after ship struck it, sending vehicles into water". Associated Press. 2024-03-26. Retrieved 2024-03-26.
  7. Wells, Ciara (March 26, 2024). "Part of Key Bridge in Baltimore collapses after large boat collision, vehicles submerged". WTOP. Archived from the original on March 26, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.
  8. "Baltimore Key Bridge: Rescuers searching river after Baltimore bridge collapse". BBC News. March 26, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024. (14:15 UTC) Six people are unaccounted for, officials tell reporters. This is down from a previous report of seven.
  9. "Baltimore Key bridge collapse live updates: Two bodies recovered, authorities say". AP News. Retrieved 2024-03-28.

Other websites[change | change source]