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The AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community (PD) promotes the architect’s leadership role in all project delivery methods by assembling and distributing knowledge and best practices for a variety of project delivery methods, e.g. design-build (DB), integrated project deliveries (IPD), and public-private partnerships (P3).

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Maryland's Key Bridge Collapse - A Response of Resolve, Achievement and Reverse Engineering

  • 1.  Maryland's Key Bridge Collapse - A Response of Resolve, Achievement and Reverse Engineering

    Posted 05-01-2024 12:54 PM

    Maryland's Key Bridge Response - A Story of Resolve, Achievement and Reverse Engineering 

    The shock about the collapsing landmark bridge spread from the immediately affected Baltimore area to places around the world as a lost  "cathedral of infrastructure" (US DOT Secretary Buttigieg), but with its 1.6 mile continuous truss design also as a symbol for the vulnerability of our civilization's systems. 

    Unified Command press conference with Rear Adm. Gilreath in cntr,
    Gov. Moore left and the Mayor of Baltimore (right) and County 
    Executive (far right)

    Soon something else rose rapidly from the murky waters of the Patapsco: The resolve to persist and an increasingly complex recovery operation that sprung into action minutes before the giant ship brought down the bridge, and took a defining shape just hours later. Today some 350 people are on site "around the clock" in a four phase operation that the Governor of Maryland describes as 

    1. giving closure to the victim's families 
    2. taking care of all those affected by this crisis, 
    3. clearing the channel and open vessel traffic to the Port of Baltimore, 
    4. and rebuilding the Key Bridge
    The collapsed bridge was part of the Baltimore Beltway, designated as I-695 a federal highway, managed by the State of Maryland's Department of Transportation (MDOT), as a toll facility specifically by the Maryland Transportation Authority MdTA.  The bridge is located in Baltimore County and the Port affected by the shipping channel's closure is located in Baltimore City, both jurisdiction are now part of the Unified Command structure that was formed to organize the four phases of recovery. Local government is mostly responsible for the distribution of aid to affected families, longshoremen and businesses. Other key parties involved in the recovery are the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard. The details of the structure are explained hereRear Adm. Shannon Gilreath, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District and Maryland's Governor appear to have the highest ranks in this team effort. 
    Army Corps of Engineers graphic illustrating
    the response effort to clear various shipping
    What happened in the first four weeks after the collapse defies the prevailing narrative that the US has grown too sluggish, especially when it comes to infrastructure. In spite of the..... Read FULL ARTICLE

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD