New design to replace Baltimore’s collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge unveiled

A brand new design for the collapsed Baltimore bridge has been unveiled.

The first proposal for a substitute bridge sees a wider span and improved clearance top to decrease probability of collision.

Italian design agency Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), have labored along with structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and worldwide development group Webuild on the reconstruction proposal for the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Concept design of the wider and taller replacement for the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore
The idea design for the bridge to replace the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Brick Visuals/CRA / SWNS

The expanse collapsed on 26 March when container ship MV Dali struck considered one of its piers.

In a proposal letter to US Secretary of State for Transportation, the Governor of Maryland, and the Director of the Maryland Port Administration, Webuild CEO Pietro Salini wrote: “We at Webuild and our US subsidiary Lane are ready to make ourselves available, to quickly restore this strategic bridge for local mobility.

“We will take part in the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)’s Virtual Industry Forum for the reconstruction of the bridge, and we are ready to help in any way we can at this stage in the spirit of pro bono service.”

The design, which follows a cable-stayed method, improves a number of useful traits of the previous bridge to improve security and long-term adaptability.

By enlarging the bridge’s fundamental span from 1,200 ft to 2,230 ft (700 m), the first help pillars shall be located in very shallow water (a depth of roughly 23 ft), effectively away from the navigation channel utilized by massive vessels.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surveying the damage of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore due to a ship collision
The expanse collapsed on March 26, 2024 when container ship MV Dali struck considered one of its piers. David Adams/US Army Corps / SWNS

“This approach aims to ensure that accidents such as the one that occurred last March, causing the former bridge to collapse, will not happen again,” say CRA.

The design additionally will increase clearance from 185 ft to 230 ft (70 m), in accordance with the transport business’s newest requirements and permits the Port of Baltimore to stay a significant worldwide harbour within the years to come.

The idea additionally proposes a bigger roadway, with a brand new lane added in every course, to accommodate elevated automobile capability, addressing the excessive visitors ranges throughout the bridge.

The venture is designed in collaboration with famend French consulting engineer and designer Michel Virlogeux, who designed a number of of the world’s most important cable-stayed bridges, together with Lisbon’s Ponto Vasco da Gama and the tallest bridge on Earth, the Millau Viaduct within the Occitania area of France.

The Baltimore design has been developed for the worldwide development group Webuild, whose Italian department was chargeable for the reconstruction, carried out in file time, of the Ponte Morandi in Genoa, Italy, which collapsed in August 2018 following extreme climate.

Concept design for the new, wider, and taller replacement of the collapsed Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge
The Baltimore design has been developed for the worldwide development group Webuild. Brick Visuals/CRA / SWNS

Carlo Ratti, professor on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding accomplice of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, says: “Opting for a cable-stayed solution enables the piles to be positioned at a safe distance, well away from the navigation channel used by large vessels and hence preventing the risk of a tragedy such as the one of March 26 happening again.

“This approach also provides a light-weight solution to reconnect two sides of Baltimore, both socially and economically – what American infrastructure should be striving to do in the 21st century.”

CRA add: “The new bridge will once again be a shining symbol of the city of Baltimore, and of the United States as a whole, marking the entrance to one of the most significant shipping ports on the East Coast.” 

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