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MMTA Statement on Collapse of Key Bridge.

March 26, 2024

The vessel strike and subsequent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 is devastating - first in the undetermined lives lost and second in the economic impact to the state of Maryland.  The Port of Baltimore truly is the state’s economic engine.  We know that the Port itself is responsible for 20,000 direct jobs, and thousands of other indirect jobs it creates in industries like trucking. The Key Bridge is a critical route for trucking into and out of the Port of Baltimore.  According to FHWA, in 2022 the Bridge carried over 4,800 trucks per day.  It also provides the primary Baltimore crossing for hazardous materials carriers, who cannot use the Baltimore tunnels.  It must be a priority to clear the waterway as expeditiously as possible so that ships can resume cargo deliveries or all industries, including trucking, will suffer. 

To keep the Port vibrant, there are 3 issues that must be addressed .

  1. Waterways must be cleared to reopen delivery access as soon as possible.  This is an immediate concern to avoid massive diversion of ships to other ports. Unless the waterways are quickly reopened, the debris will serve as a blockade to the port and effectively choke off economic activity. This will irreparably harm small, local Maryland intermodal trucking companies who cannot divert their resources to pickups at other ports in the same way that larger companies operating at multiple ports may be able to do.
  2. Traffic limitations have to be addressed.  This includes potential alternate routes being made available and/or lifting of certain restrictions so freight can be delivered timely when it is available.
  3. Bridge replacement must occur, but is obviously a longer-term discussion while immediate needs are addressed.

We know that all applicable state and federal government agencies are engaged and appreciate their efforts to use all resources needed to address these challenges.

Louis Campion
President & CEO
Maryland Motor Truck Association

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