Crews Execute Controlled Demolition to Dismantle Remaining Span of Collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore (VIDEO)

Credit: CSPAN

Crews set off a chain of carefully placed explosives on Monday to break down the largest remaining span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

The demolition aimed to free the Dali, a container ship that has been stranded in Baltimore harbor for 48 days.

The ship lost power and collided with one of the bridge’s support columns shortly after departing Baltimore on March 26, causing the bridge to collapse.

The accident tragically claimed the lives of six construction workers and halted most maritime traffic through the busy port.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a significant commuter route carrying the Baltimore Beltway I-695 over the Patapsco River at the southern end of the Baltimore Harbor, and it’s the state’s number one thoroughfare for hazardous materials, which are not allowed to go through the underwater roadway tunnels in Baltimore.

Onlookers witnessed the mangled steel trusses plunge into the water below. The controlled collapse was designed to avoid further contact with the vessel and allow it to be refloated.

Watch the videos below:

Officials confirmed that the detonation proceeded as planned. The next phase of the cleanup involves assessing the remaining trusses on the Dali’s bow and ensuring that no underwater wreckage prevents the ship from being refloated and moved.

Last month, the U.S. Naval Institute has reported that the Chesapeake, the largest crane on the East Coast, arrived to assist in the efforts of cleaning up the wreckage left behind from the Dali crashing into the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Friday.

According to the UNI, the Chesapeake, formerly named the SUN 800, was built by the CIA “to recover the Soviet Golf II ballistic missile submarine K-129, which sunk in 1968.” The CIA used the SUN 800 to help assist in the construction of the Hughes Glomar Explorer.

While the bridge’s reconstruction cannot commence until the cleanup is complete, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDTA) estimates that the Francis Scott Key Bridge will be rebuilt by fall 2028, with costs ranging between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion, Washington Post reported.

Some experts predict the project could take up to a decade to complete. Benjamin Schafer, a professor of civil and systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University, told USA Today that it could take a decade or longer. Similarly, Sameh Badie, an engineering professor at George Washington University, noted that the cost of rebuilding would depend on the new design.

The original Francis Scott Key Bridge, which cost an estimated $110 million, took only five years to build and opened in 1977, according to FOX 10.

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

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