Biden Reiterates Support For Key Bridge After Latest State-Federal Meeting

President Joe Biden on Tuesday reiterated his administration’s support for restoring the Francis Scott Key Bridge and bringing business back to the Port of Baltimore and the communities that rely on the port for their livelihoods, according to a statement released Wednesday by the White House.

Biden’s comment followed Gov. Wes Moore’s (D) and Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld’s meeting Tuesday with White House officials and officials from the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Transportation Department and Federal Highway Administration. It was the latest in a series of meetings between state and federal officials working to clear the Patapsco River channel after the cargo ship Dali lost power in the early morning hours of March 26 and collided with a pier supporting the bridge, sending the center portion of the 1.6-mile span plunging into the river.

The White House said Tuesday’s meeting also focused on continued support for impacted workers, small business owners, and families of the victims of the bridge collapse.  Six of eight road-crew workers who were on the bridge at the time were killed in the crash, and one crew member on the ship was injured, but no other injuries were reported.

Wreckage from the bridge pinned the Dali in place for weeks, and debris in the river closed the Fort McHenry Federal Channel into the port. Teams were able to refloat the Dali and tow it back to port on May 2o. By that time, state and federal teams had cleared enough wreckage from the river that they were able to open a 400-foot-wide swath of the federal channel, permitting passage of all pre-collapse, deep-draft commercial vessels in the port.