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UPDATE 21 Multimedia Release: Unified Command to use precision cutting during next phase of bridge removal


Wednesday, May 8, 2024


Editor’s note: A media availability is scheduled to be issued approximately 48 hours before the precision cuts will be made to accommodate safe media access to the scene.

  

BALTIMORE – The Key Bridge Response Unified Command is scheduled to use precision cuts made with small charges to remove a large section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge wreckage from on top of the M/V DALI.


The exact time of the precision cuts will depend on multiple environmental and operational factors.


The small charges, a standard controlled demolition tool, will split the large section of truss at specific locations to create multiple, smaller sections, which allows salvors to use cranes and barges already on scene to remove these sections of the bridge and ultimately remove the M/V DALI from the channel.


“We remain focused on restoring the Marine Transportation System, while ensuring the protection of the public and the environment,” said Capt. David O’Connell, Key Bridge Response Federal On-Scene Coordinator. “By using precision cuts, we reduce risks to our personnel and can safely and efficiently continue clearing the channel for the Port of Baltimore.”

A graphic explaining how the Key Bridge Unified Command prepares to remove the bridge piece that lies atop the M/V Dali. This infographic also shows that the area covered by the established Safety Zone is also the area where hearing protection is required during the precision cutting on section 4 of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. A portion of Hawkins Point is included in this zone, and focused efforts will be made to ensure those in the area are prepared for the event. Removing the bridge section, in the fastest, safest, and most predictable means requires the use of precision cuts made by these small charges.

(Key Bridge Unified Command video by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visual information specialist Christopher Rosario)


The Key Bridge Response Unified Command coordinated with Maryland Department of Emergency Management to issue a cellular notification ahead of the controlled demolition to maximize awareness to the communities near the bridge.


Hearing protection is not required outside of the 2,000-yard noise radius. Sound levels outside of the noise radius will be no louder than a standard fireworks show and will last 2-5 seconds.

This infographic shows that the area covered by the established Safety Zone is also the area where hearing protection is required during the precision cutting on section 4 of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. A portion of Hawkins Point is included in this zone, and focused efforts will be made to ensure those in the area are prepared for the event.

(Key Bridge Unified Command 2024 graphic)


“There is a small portion of the noise radius that includes land over the industrial portions of Hawkins Point,” said Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Carr, Key Bridge Response Unified Command safety officer.  “We are ensuring workers in the area have advanced notice of the plan.”


Officers from the Maryland State Police and allied law enforcement agencies will provide perimeter security to the area and spectating is highly discouraged.


Similar methods were previously used in the area for the controlled demolition of the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge in March 2023 in Charles County, Maryland.


A graphical representation of how the Key Bridge Unified Command prepares to remove the bridge piece that lies atop the M/V Dali. Removing the bridge section, in the fastest, safest, and most predictable means requires the use of precision cuts made by these small charges.

(Key Bridge Unified Command video by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visual information specialist Jake Pope)


The current 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect and is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. 


The Temporary Flight Restriction extends for two nautical miles in radius from the center of the bridge and from the surface up to and including 1,500 feet above ground level.


There is a zero-tolerance policy regarding any drone use anywhere within the “No Drone Zone” established by the FAA. Anyone who attempts to fly a drone in any prohibited manner may be subject to arrest, prosecution, fines, and/or imprisonment.


The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command includes the: 


●      U.S. Coast Guard  

●      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

●      Maryland Department of the Environment  

●      Maryland Transportation Authority 

●      Maryland State Police 

●      Witt O’Brien’s representing Synergy Marine


The Unified Command’s operational priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, safely restoring the marine transportation system and commerce, protecting the environment, and supporting the investigation. 



For videos of what similar controlled demolition looks like:









 


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