Councilman Marks Shares Thoughts on Key Bridge Tragedy

-The following article was shared by Councilman David Marks on social media about the Francis Scott Key Bridge tragedy-

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was a tragedy in so many terms—the loss of human life, the destruction of an iconic landmark, and the disruption to commerce along the East Coast. On April 1, the Baltimore County Council unanimously passed a resolution that expresses solidarity with those impacted by this tragedy and support for the rapid reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The bridge’s 1,200-foot main span was the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world. More than 11.5 million vehicles traveled across the bridge every year, many of them trucks and tractor trailers carrying cargo to and from the Port of Baltimore and other terminals. The Port of Baltimore is directly responsible for about 15,000 jobs and generates more than $4.7 billion in economic value to the State of Maryland.

Many of those employed by the Port of Baltimore live in eastern Baltimore County, and there are countless others whose lives depend on activity sustained by the Port—from hotel workers in White Marsh to those operating car dealerships or building homes using cargo that has traveled through the Port.

As your Councilman, I support any effort to quickly and safely rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Congress is debating the size of a federal appropriation to support that effort, and there is precedent for the federal government financing this project.

Before my election to the Baltimore County Council, I worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation. One of the major initiatives during this time was the reconstruction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, up to that point the only section of the Interstate Highway System owned by the federal government.

I also support efforts to rebuild the bridge in a way that maximizes participation by local businesses. Tradepoint Atlantic will be a critical part of this operation. In the first week of the salvage operation, a 200-ton piece of the bridge was recovered for processing at Tradepoint Atlantic.

I have remained in close contact with Councilman Todd Crandell, the Olszewski administration, and our state legislators since the collapse of the bridge. Like the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his famous poem, I have no doubt that—working together—we will see a strong, lofty structure once again towering over the Patapsco River.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later in 2022.