State Roundup: Biden administration to provide Key Bridge reconstruction funds; personal, state, national costs of closing the port; who were the men who died?

State Roundup: Biden administration to provide Key Bridge reconstruction funds; personal, state, national costs of closing the port; who were the men who died?

Gov. Wes Moore, left, and U.S. Transportation Pete Buttigieg look over the destruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday. The Biden administration says it will provide federal funding to cover the costs of rebuilding the bridge. Governor's Office Photo by Joe Andrucyk and Patrick Siebert.

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BIDEN ADMIN PROMISES FUNDS TO REBUILD THE BRIDGE: The Biden administration is prepared to provide federal funding to cover costs following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday in a White House press briefing. Yesenia Montenegro of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.

THE PERSONAL & STATE ECONOMIC COSTS OF CLOSING THE PORT: To re-open the Port of Baltimore to vessel traffic, authorities will need to clear the shipping channel. To clear the shipping channel, the massive, stuck cargo ship will need to be freed. For the ship to be freed, the fallen steel bridge, weighing it down, will need to be removed. Recovery from disaster is complex and cumbersome. The White House has promised to replace the Key Bridge. But first, authorities will seek to restore the economically critical shipping channel that leads to the port, an essential nexus of commerce. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The suspension of shipping traffic in and out of the port is directly impacting thousands of jobs and about $2 million in wages every day, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday. Last year, the port handled more than 50 million tons of foreign cargo worth $80 billion, according to state officials. Gov. Wes Moore said about 8,000 dock workers would be affected. Hugo Kugiya/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Tradepoint Atlantic on Sparrows Point is the only major shipping site within the Port of Baltimore that lies outside the Francis Scott Key Bridge. A decade ago, it was an industrial graveyard, the site of a shuttered steel plant. Today, it is a rapidly expanding logistics center that is trying to once again become the economic engine of the Baltimore region. Now, it faces its greatest challenge. Giacomo Bologna/The Baltimore Banner.

BRIDGE COLLAPSE WORSENS STATE TRANSPORTATION PICTURE: Even before the collapse of an iconic piece of Maryland infrastructure Tuesday, finding the money needed to sustain the state’s critical transportation network was the largest hang-up left in the General Assembly session barreling toward its finish line. The crash that took down the Francis Scott Key Bridge has only added to the complexity. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

THE LATINO IMMIGRANTS WHO DIED IN THE KEY BRIDGE COLLAPSE: The six construction workers who fell to their deaths when Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed were all Latino immigrants ranging from ages 26 to 49. They were described as hardworking, humble men, dedicated to their spouses, children and families in their homelands. Foreign embassies have confirmed the men to be from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. Clara Longo de Freitas, Hallie Miller and Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

  • Rescue crews found the victims shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday trapped in a red pickup truck in about 25 feet of water in the Patapsco River near the mid-span of the hulking wreck of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Erin Cox, Justin Jouvenal, Danny Nguyen, Peter Hermann and Jasmine Hilton/The Washington Post.
  • Working on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Dundalk one weekend a few years ago, construction worker Miguel Luna took it upon himself to bring lunch to his crewmates. The crew was about 20 people, but Luna brought tacos, pupusas and even hot soup for everyone from his wife’s food truck. Luna is one of the six workers presumed dead. Cassidy Jensen and Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.
  • “It’s a solemn reminder of the contributions and sacrifices that our immigrant community makes in our state and in our country,” U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Wednesday evening. Gov. Wes Moore (D) delivered a few words of solidarity and sympathy to the workers’ families in Spanish. Tom Perez, a special adviser to President Biden, spoke for about two minutes in Spanish, offering assurances to the victims’ families that the government will try to take care of them. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

LOST LANDSCAPE: MOURNING THE BRIDGE: After the bridge collapsed early Tuesday morning, locals grieved the construction workers who were presumed dead and conveyed gratitude to first responders. They also mourned the bridge itself, expressing shock that a fixture of Baltimore’s landscape for 47 years vanished so suddenly into a pile of steel debris. Sapna Basil of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.

DATA CONSISTENT WITH TANKER’s POWER OUTAGE: Federal investigators have obtained data that is “consistent with a power outage” onboard the freighter Dali before it struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the National Transportation Safety Board’s chair said Wednesday night, and have begun interviewing the cargo ship’s crew. Darcy Costello and Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.

IN 1980, KEY BRIDGE SURVIVED CARGO VESSEL STRIKE: The Key Bridge was also hit by a wayward cargo vessel in 1980. On Aug. 29 of that year, a container ship named the Blue Nagoya drifted into a pier that supported the structure, the Francis Scott Key Bridge, after losing control about 1,800 feet away, according to a 1983 report by the U.S. National Research Council. When the Blue Nagoya hit the Key Bridge, it destroyed some protective concrete, yet did not topple the structure. So what was different this time? Mike Ives/The New York Times.

TWO STATE SENATORS PUSH FOR ABORTION CLINIC FUNDING: Two Democratic state senators are trying to secure funding for reproductive health clinics that provide abortion services before time runs out in the 2024 legislative session. And the success of one bill may help with the financial support of the other. The landscape for abortion access has changed drastically across the United States following the overturning of federal abortion protections in 2022. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

APPLE BALLOT BACKS ELFRETH, OLSZEWSKI, VOGEL FOR CONGRESS: Maryland’s largest teachers union on Tuesday endorsed candidates for three open seats in Congress, backing state Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) in the 3rd Congressional District, Baltimore County Executive John “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. (D) in the 2nd District, and Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery) in the 6th District. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

EPA ANNOUNCES $206M IN BAY RESTORATION FUNDING: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that $206 million in funding will be allocated toward projects aimed at continuing the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. The historic levels of funding reflect the Biden administration’s increased investments in environmental programs and infrastructure projects. Brennan Stewart of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.

WITH RUBENSTEIN’s OWNERSHIP OF THE O’s, WHAT IS NEXT? The Orioles have called this “The Next Chapter.” As David Rubenstein takes control of Baltimore’s franchise, his story has the feeling of a hero’s journey. Here comes a billionaire with a history of civic-minded giving, a native son who views owning the local baseball team as “an obligation to pay back the country and also pay back Baltimore for my good fortune,” he told The Banner’s Andy Kostka. Kyle Goon/The Baltimore Banner.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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