Shipping Delays Expected on the East Coast

Due to a container ship striking and destroying the I-695 Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, please expect delays in any ground packages on the east coast.

Yes, Baltimore has 12 lanes of tunnel traffic crossing the harbor, but hazmat (ground) shipments are restricted from these (95 & 895). Your only alternative is a VERY LONG way around Baltimore via the western side of the 695 Beltway.

The bridge is gone, this is not a repairable situation. This will take years to rebuild. Shipping companies will begin to re-route and recover in the next few weeks sending more east coast traffic further inland up I81, or maybe they will try US-50, but EXPECT DELAYS. That bridge was mostly used by trucks.


I woke up to this news, and I’ve been on that bridge. Terrifying - and in the middle of the night no less.

And definitely a nightmare for Maryland. It will definitely take a very, very long time to rebuild.


This is a real tragedy, still searching for missing. :pray:

Reminds us all how important the many infrastructures that we take for granted are in modern life.

For context, some images below. Keep in mind that the whole harbor will be impacted by first clean up, next preparation, and third construction.

The “x” is approximate point of impact.

The impact pulled the entirety of the bridge down. The land-based entry spans on each side are all that’s left. None of that in the middle is viable.


I’ve been on that bridge many times myself when I used to go to Expo East in MD.

Imagine the tragedy this could have been during the day. Latest reports say the ship sent out an SOS, knowing they couldn’t stop and the construction crew and other officials were able to stop the traffic on both sides.

All of those now known to be missing are those poor souls that were repairing potholes on the structure.

Repair time will depend heavily on how damaged the remaining structure is. Not sure this is going to take years. They built the new Tappan Zee bridge here in I think 6 years and that was a huge project from scratch and it’s twice as long and there essentially 2 bridges (1 for each direction), that are 6 lanes each way.


I saw the video and the ship’s lights went out and back on a couple of times - I wonder if they did that to try to warn people in the path. :frowning:


We will find out eventually. The amount of diesel exhaust billowing out of the ship was sudden after the lights went back on making it appear that the engines stalled and were fired back up with the reverse thrusters pegged.

That was a local captain aboard with his / her specific and short term job was to safely navigate the river as is the law. He or she was obviously familiar with the area so it was a failure somewhere.

Those lights going on and off happened more than once in that short video. The ship was in trouble for a bit.


Yes, this also, the port is closed. No container ships can come in and offload or leave, so this will also impact, and may for some time


Update, The ship had lost control, and the ship alerted MD DOT and they were able to shut down the bridge before it was struck. This saved countless lives. 2 rescued, 6 missing, 5 vehicles under water. The 8 people that were on the bridge are said to be construction workers who were working on the bridge.

All signs point that this was nothing more then an accident.

Initial reports said the ship had a fire, but that may have just been an assumption based upon the smoke


Yes, and just the worst luck. It somehow avoided the protective “dolphins” bumpers around the piling that was hit. :persevere:

I suspect that finding better ways to protect the pilings and to immediately shut down car traffic will be the two biggest safety takeaways from this. More tragedy was only averted because the work crew had folks stationed at each end and coordinated a traffic stop only 90 seconds before it hit. Because they could see it coming with its lights out, and could hear the radio traffic.


Protective dolphins can only stop so much, a fully loaded ship like that why was “Hauling” at 8k I mean nothing is going to stop that in it’s tracks.

As far as shutting down traffic, Maryland in the last few years went cashless for all tolls and removed toll booths. All electronic tolls collected at full speed now via transponders or via plate photos are the norm, so all barriers were removed years ago from all the bridges and tunnels. Would it have helped here, I don’t think so. It sounds like the warning may have been as short as 90 seconds before impact.


Delays? BULL!

The “long way” around is I-695, another super-highway, and a mere net 20 mins longer travel time than I-95 or I-895.

I am back and forth between DC and NYC often, I know the terrain.


Shipping delays would be those big toy boats going in and out of the harbor … not going to happen until the waterway is cleared of debris.



The protection is far undersized for the size of vessels that could impact it. The dolphin of the piers are right against the pier.
Heck even the protective ring around the power pole isn’t really big enough. There needs to be more void space and they need to be taller so that a big ship like that doesn’t just run up over the top.

There’s no way that in 1970 they envisioned a cargo ship using the harbor would be 95,000 tons. Like much of our infrastructure that was built in the 60s-80s, there needs to be some updates to deal with today’s realities.


Very true. The protections on all such bridges operating in the 2020s shipping-scape need significant safety updates.


I expect this will be much faster; unlike TZ, no concerns about minimizing impact on current traffic. And I think that if there is money needed to speed things up (overtime, etc.) it won’t be the problem that it was with the TZ.
Federal government is paying for it (it’s a fed highway); I would hope that at least part of the cost can be recovered from the insurance for the ship, but I don’t know how that works.


I strongly suspect that Maritime Insurance responsibility carveouts likely will not allow the insurer to avoid a payout in this instance - depending upon the policy language itself.


I saw the video and kept saying ‘Noo, noo, nooo…’

Scary af


The lights went out for a bit before coming back on and so I believe there was a loss of all power for whatever reason at least from what I saw in the headlines


Speed of the rebuild will depend on how much work needs to be done underwater beyond the cleanup.

If the uprights can be reused, this will be quick. Obviously, at a minimum, the one that was hit needs to be replaced.

I don’t know what’s wrong with people BTW. Saw something on social stating it was staged and done on purpose, pointing to the high voltage lines snapping / sparking / smoking as intentional demolition explosives.

People really need to get a life and get off the pipe in this country.


The results of the black box recorder should be out tonight per the NTSB. We should know what happened soon.