$60M and a giant crane: Resources pour in for Baltimore after bridge collapse

By Peder Schaefer | 03/29/2024 11:50 AM EDT

The Biden administration swiftly approved $60 million in emergency funds Thursday.

Part of the steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of the container ship Dali.

Initial reports from the National Transportation Safety Board and videos of the collision shared on social media suggest that the Dali suffered a power outage in the critical minutes before colliding with a key support pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Kent Nishimura/AFP via Getty Images

BALTIMORE — $60 million in emergency federal funds and the largest crane on the Eastern seaboard are heading to Baltimore to help clear the debris of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed after a cargo ship slammed into a key support pillar early Tuesday morning.

The announcements come after three tense days of helicopters flying search and rescue missions over the Patapsco River, divers attempting to recover bodies from the buried superstructure and worries about the economic impact of a prolonged closure of the Port of Baltimore, a key shipping node on the Eastern seaboard.

Within hours of receiving a request for federal funds from Maryland’s state government on Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration approved $60 million in “quick release” emergency funds to help with initial costs for debris removal, demolition, detours, emergency repairs and work to begin designing and building a new bridge.


“The federal emergency funds we’re releasing today will help Maryland begin urgent work, to be followed by further resources as recovery and rebuilding efforts progress,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.