Key Bridge Disaster Cripples Baltimore Harbor

"Bridgegate" StateoftheNation crosspost from Jeff Childers blog

Around 1:30am on Tuesday March 26, 2023, a cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) in Baltimore, MD, causing the bridge to collapse. A lot of questions are surfacing as to how this could have happened, and while some of the facts and questions are described, an in-depth investigation remains and may take years to conclude. However in the Baltimore press conference the very same day, in which federal, state, and city officials were present, the public was repeatedly reassured that the bridge collapse is already viewed as just “an accident” and no terrorism is involved. This will be even before the blackbox was examined or its contents disclosed (it was done later that evening).

According to official media reports, the 100,000 ton Maersk-operated cargo ship called “Dali” suffered a power outage as it was heading out from the Port of Baltimore into the outer harbor. It was navigating outside the shipping lane and could not correct an off-course direction. From what is seen in video footage, as the lights came back on, it appeared to attempt a hard rudder correction. However this only caused it to veer toward the pylon of the continuous truss bridge. The barge then stalled a second time as the crew presumably threw down an anchor, sent out a mayday signal, and made calls to the MDOT Safety Officers to minimize traffic over the bridge. Shortly later, the ship accelerated and rammed into the concrete pylon, and being only one of two critical pylons supporting the continuous arch truss, it caused the structure to twist, contort, break, and fall into the channel.

There appears to have been minimal loss of life, however, the coast guard continued to search the waters for a whole day. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has already revamped its website to include a “Key Bridge News” page ( Also for boaters, as of April 4, 2024, a portion of the maritime channel has re-opened for small vessels according to GoFishBaltimore. Livestream of the bridge removal in progress is being broadcast at “Baltimore Ship Watchers” ( which is also played at the StreamTime Live YouTube channel. There, you can rewatch the “Official Footage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse,” even if Governor Wes Moore doesn’t find it’s worth watching so much.

Probably the timeline for a bridge replacement will be from four to ten years. Citizens are not too hopeful that the massive four-lane 1.6 mile long viaduct, a vital part of the Outer Beltway network of I-695, I-95, and Md. state highway system, with average traffic of 34,000 vehicles a day, can be replaced in a timely manner.

But it is already being turned into an election campaign issue, which may be for the good. Even if over the past two years President Biden has confuted Build Back Better for America plans with new overseas military bases, sapping the nation of its infrastructure needs focus, maybe this is a wake-up call. Under the leadership of the DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, there is a record number of transportation-related failures over the past several years from routine railroad derailments, airline emergencies, disasters such as the East Palestine, OH train explosion, and now this.

Investigative reporters are already questioning why the tugboats stopped short of escorting the huge container ship up to the Key Bridge. Certainly the tugboats should have kept the Dali within the Fort McHenry Channel, which is 50 ft deep and 700 ft wide, heading from the Port of Baltimore. In fact this mammoth cargo vessel was chock full with 4700 containers at the time of the crash, meaning that the nearly 100,000 ton vessel would have had trouble navigating, stopping, turning, even if it was swimming with the outward-bound Patapsco River current. The momentum of the ship alone according to one analyst, requires a half-hour to bring it to a full stop. Additionally being so fully laden, the draught of the ship would approach it’s maximum of 49 feet, barely clearing the bottom of the channel. Common sense would inform anyone that full escort with tugboats is safety-first logic since the harbor waters outside the shipping lanes are relatively shallow (far less than 30 feet average) even under high tide.

The Port of Baltimore is operated by the Maryland Port Authority, a unit under the MDOT. According to Maryland Matters, the Maryland Department of Transportation faces a $3.3 billion dollar shortfall. Normalizing industry-wide cost-savings measures, whether it is cutting maintenance on roads and guardrails, buses and rail equipment, increases safety risks. For waterways, reductions on litter removal, dredging, or cutting funding for tugboats may have been enacted. Was this accident related to false economy and poor financial decision-making?

Various marine experts interviewed by Time magazine (“Could Tugboats Have Helped Avert the Bridge Collapse Tragedy in Baltimore?“) expressed an opinion that capable tugboats leading the ship fully out into the Chesapeake Bay could have made a difference. Currently nationwide each individual port makes up its own tugboat rules. Usually, for instance, the minimum is a safe clearance from ship berth into the shipping lane. Additionally each shipping company decides on whether they want to extend the service. Another factor, according to Jennifer Carpenter, president of the American Waterways Operators, is that having too many tugboats working around the shipping lanes can increase accidents.

In any event, even with the FSK Bridge having had a maximum span of 1200 feet and clearance below of 185 feet from mean high water, the Patapsco River current is said to be swift at times. The Chesapeake Bay is subject to tidal effects and wind, which could have affected navigation on the night of the catastrophe. Factor in the limited night time vision, the massive weight of the cargo, and limited maneuverability for a ship 984 feet long, 158 feet wide, and with a draught depth of 49 ft, and again, one wonders why it was not mandated to be fully and safely escorted out to prevent any accidental grounding.

These are just a few of the questions that deserve investigation, because President Biden has already assured the public that the federal government will do every thing possible that it can to re-open the port and pay for the bridge replacement. One might make the cynical observation that this is the same president whose campaign stop in January 2024 included the decaying Blatnik Memorial Bridge in Wisconsin, where, only a couple years ago, Biden also promised that this same bridge would be repaired as soon as the infrastructure spending bill was passed.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge on I-695 was named for the poet who wrote the lyrics for the United States of America’s national anthem, the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” His poem, “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” was inspired from the naval battle fought that night while Scott was trapped on the British prison vessel. Other historical elements include the small man-made island just beyond the bridge in the centerpoint between Sparrows Point and historic Fort Armistead, called Fort Carroll. GoFishBaltimore describes the local fishing conditions in the harbor area, evoking the natural ecology:

Views from the bridge were described by the Baltimore Sun on opening day on Wednesday, March 23, 1977 (47 years ago almost to the day of its fatal ending on March 26, 2024) as follows:

After decades of studies for tunnels to alleviate traffic, the new Key Bridge was dedicated for linking industrial areas, and designed for heavy trucking, even if it would be several more decades before the approaches were broadened from two- to four-lanes to match the bridge capacity and speed up traffic through the toll booths.

Once the designs were completed and approved, the bridge took just under five years to build, with construction beginning in 1973. Even though it went over-budget and there were many delays in the planning, by today’s standards, it was a timely completion. This is another gripe that will be heard for certain among Baltimore workers is how many years it will take, especially under the leadership of administrators who are less technically inclined, but more ambitious regarding scoring political points and fulfilling social agendas.

Cross-Section of Francis Scott Key Bridge, March 26, 2024, facing inner harbor
Cross-Section of FSK Bridge showing collapsed sections after DALI ship collision into pylon (Wikipedia source)

A full-scale investigation must be pursued for the benefit of the public and future bridge insurers. With the U.S. southern borders wide open for illegal immigration, right-wing pundits posit that this may be a “penetration test” for an ultimate “purge-day” event. That will be the “Black Swan Day” when many simultaneous coordinated attacks on the electrical grid, control towers, factories, satellites, and refineries may happen. According to Lara Logan and Health Ranger Report (Brighteon, March 29th) foreign terrorist cells are likely already here. Could this explain the increasing number of inexplicable food factory fires, about which “everyone is supposed to believe everything is fine”? Based on Logan’s intel sources, experts working with the government since 9/11, the Key Bridge collapse is the result of a cyber-attack. She explains how cyber-spoofing works; how hackers can spoof the ship’s GPS system, throwing off the pilot’s course of navigation. As she tells it, in another interview with Pat Gray of Unleashed in “The Silent Attack on America’s Infrastructure” these silent attacks must be covert and made to look natural.

Journalists in alternative media are unafraid of connecting the dots, even if those in control of the narrative in power in government do not want any suspicions aroused. Remember that if the U.S., as the leading global hegemony, acknowledges an attack, then the overwhelming military philosophy is to strike back. However alt-media journalists are reminding the public that this is only four days after the Crocus City Hall massacre near Moscow on Friday, March 22, 2024. Russia accuses Ukraine of hiring contractor assassins to gun down at least 144 people, and President Putin publicly vowed to mete justice out against the perpetrators.

Over these last several years, America has openly courted the enmity of nations due to its trivialization of former peace treaties and universal human rights. In fact, appears to have located a crew log for the Dali from that shows the shipmaster to be listed by nationality and citizenship as from Ukraine. His most recent signoff was on 02 Feb 2024 and last updated 03 Mar 2024. The motorman/oiler is shown as Indian by nationality and citizenship. Other observers propose that detonation charges were used to accelerate the bridge collapse which seem to have occurred within 30 seconds of one another. (More on what some experts are saying later.)

Steve Bannons War Room on March 26, 2024 (Episode 3491) had a credible line-up of guests including Lara Logan (formerly journalist at CBS and Fox); Dave Walsh, Energy Consultant and former president of Mitsubishi Power Systems; Jack Posobiec, author and political analyst. Dave Walsh, who is very familiar with the Port, states that it is not a minor effect as news media are stating, but in fact it may significantly hurt the economy. At least commercial shipping, since the channel is now blocked and is unnavigable for large ships. (In fact several large naval vessels are now trapped in the harbor, unable to get out to sea.) The Port of Baltimore’s ultra-large cranes are able to lift up to 100 tons. The port serves as a major transport hub for a great deal of inland empire bound goods such as machinery and fertilizer, so truckers will also be affected. Baltimore’s coal shipments to Europe have jumped 145% after the Nordstream pipeline sabotage, but that will now be curtailed. From the MDOT perspective, the bridge is important for its designation as a hazardous materials transport link in the outer beltway. It was rated for trucks carrying all kinds of fossil fuels including diesel, propane, LNG, chemicals, building materials, radioactive waste, brand new cars, and/or using extra wide flatbeds. Now shipping and transport times will be retarded as the closest similar ports are located in Newport News, VA, or Charleston, SC.

Dave Dubyne, who has his own Brighteon channel called “Adapt2030,” also delivered a full broadcast (March 29, 2024) on the economic impact of the Port of Baltimore’s catastrophe detailing many possible knockon effects. Most worrisome are whether it will, combined with other stringent onerous anti-farm legislations, cause more mid-western farms to shut down from delays in shipment of materials and/or higher costs. He notes that the port was a filling station for ships needing better quality bunker fuel, since ships must often carry different grades of fuel. All larger boats and containers and products awaiting shipment in the Port of Baltimore’s five terminals (Dundalk, Seagirt, Fairfield, North and South Locust Points) are negatively impacted. Various employees are probably going to be furloughed, which has knock-on effects for local businesses. It will also affect union railworkers, truck drivers, yard workers, equipment operators, and so on. The eastern seaboard is a gateway for many foreign-made electronics, specialty tools, and machinery; even fasteners made in China. The port handled a record 52 million tons of foreign cargo in 2023, and major imports include sugar, gypsum, and agricultural goods. Up to 847,000 trucks and cars pass through the Port annually including outward bound Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes automobiles; so if there is an inability to ship on time or economically, it can even force factory closures.

Locals, such as Jack Posobiec, are concerned about new dangers from hazardous materials being transported through the I-95 tunnels or the I-895 bridge, but that it may be the tempting option for truckers that want to avoid the long route (I-695 Beltway). Also with the crime rate in inner Baltimore, it would not take much to break into trucks parked improperly, or even to commandeer the tunnel. If a hazardous material transport accident happens involving radioactive materials, it can shut down the I-95 permanently. Even having to hire escort vehicles to accompany over-sized trucks will tack on additional costs and inconvenience from slowed-down traffic.

Brighteon (Health Ranger Report) further remarked in his March 27th broadcast, “Baltimore Bridge No Accident” that this is now “Black Swan Season” in terms of possible critical infrastructure attacks preceding the November 4th elections. It could be that like former U.S. representative Dr. Ron Paul, Adams suspects false-flag type of events may be used to delay or cancel elections. Others also connect this to ongoing wars in Ukraine, the Middle East, or “the China threat.” In fact in the recent days there has been a few more look-alike bridge incidents. NPC Crime reported a tugboat-ship incident near a bridge in Oklahoma; while yesterday there was another report of a huge cargo ship becoming stuck and nearly hitting a bridge in New York City harbor. (More on that incident later.)

As Lara Logan states, the Key Bridge collapse is a severe economic hit to Baltimore, one that should not be minimized. The Port generates $3.3 billion in personal income, and supports 15,330 direct jobs and 139,180 jobs connected to Port work. But it’s also important to try to support whoever is the leader of the new rebuild. A reasonable timeline of 4-5 years may be necessary, but it is possible to complete a new bridge in 2-3 years if an all-out committment is made. Learn more at the “Key Bridge Response 2024” website where one can ( stay aware of traffic congestion and try to support the bridge clearing efforts of the community and its leaders, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, MDOT Secretary Paul Wiedefeld, City of Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, and State of Maryland Governor Wes Moore.

Dali cargo ship destroys the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024, from “Bridgegate” by Jeff Childers