Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Maryland officials outline plans for months ahead

BALTIMORE — Officials in Maryland outlined directives expected to take place over the next few months following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge earlier this week.

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore shared four priorities for the next weeks which include finding the remaining four victims, clearing the bridge from the river, opening the port to traffic and taking care of the victims’ families and those affected by the collapse, according to The New York Times. The biggest priority Moore said is that “we need to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge.”

“This work will not take hours. This work will not take days. This work will not just take weeks. We have a very long road ahead of us,” Moore said in a news conference Thursday, according to CNN.

“That water is so dark, and debris is so dense, that in most instances our divers cannot see more than a foot or two in front of them,” Moore said. “So much of the operation is simply feel.”

The federal government has given Maryland the $60 million that the state requested, according to a Federal Highway Administration news release obtained by CNN. The money is a “down payment” for cleaning up the bridge. This means it would go towards getting rid of debris, redirecting traffic and hopefully help to rebuild the bridge.

Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said that the United States Coast Guard is working to try to figure out where exactly it should cut the bridge, the Times reported. Cutting the bridge would help to get it lifted out of the water.

Maryland can later request additional money when needed. According to CNN, Maryland’s congressional delegation said that they will work on getting lawmakers to help get the funding needed for the bridge rebuilding project.