Webuild steps up to rebuild Baltimore’s bridge

Webuild presented to the Maryland State Government its project to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed last March.

A new safe and innovative cable-stayed bridge to redefine the entrance to the port of Baltimore City, a fundamental hub for United States logistics. This is the preliminary project presented  to the Maryland State Government by Webuild, with its American subsidiary Lane, for the reconstruction of Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed last March after the impact with the cargo ship Dali.

The design of the new bridge aims to ensure maximum navigation safety, even for the largest ships. It is assumed, for example, that the navigable clearance, the space that a ship can occupy to pass under the bridge, will be 213 feet (65 meters), which is much higher than that of the collapsed bridge; but also that the bridge span will be enlarged to about 2,300 feet (700 meters), with the main pylons positioned in much shallower water and away from the shipping channel.

A great opportunity for Baltimore’s bridge

All this will allow the Port of Baltimore to remain an important international port for years to come. A wider roadway is also planned, with the increase of one lane in each direction and the widening of emergency lanes, in response to the increased traffic levels on the bridge. The proposed new smart features will also enable safer traffic management and the use of predictive maintenance techniques. We would also envisage the use of more sustainable materials to preserve the ecosystem of the Patapsco River.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDTA), which started the process for choosing final design solutions, in which Webuild and Lane also participate, has estimated between $1.7 and $1.9 billion the cost of the new Baltimore bridge. The state plans to build a new span by fall of 2028.

An innovative proposal signed by Carlo Ratti

The proposal for Baltimore was developed together with Carlo Ratti, co-founder of the CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati design studio, which is responsible for innovative studies on the structural monitoring of bridges, and the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux who participated in some of the most important cable-stayed bridges, including the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon and the highest bridge in the world, the Millau Viaduct in France.

Opting for a cable-stayed solution enables the piles to be positioned at a safe distance, well away from the navigation channel used by large vessels and hence preventing the risk of a tragedy such as the one of March 26 happening again. This approach also provides a light-weight solution to reconnect the city both in social and economic terms with an essential infrastructure from a logistical and commercial point of view for over 1.4 million people living in the area, plus tens of thousands of commuters directly penalized by the collapse of the bridge.

From Genoa’s San Giorgio to the Bosphorus: Webuild’s great bridges

Webuild built the new San Giorgio bridge in Genoa, completed in less than two years to replace the one that collapsed in 2018, and other iconic projects such as the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge in California, the Second and Third Bosphorus Bridges in Turkey, and the Danube Bridge in Braila in Romania, which is the second longest suspension bridge in continental Europe, with a central span of 3,675 feet(1,120 meters). The Group is also leader of the consortium that will build the Bridge over the Strait of Messina, once approved. The project involves the construction of the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a total length of 19,700 feet (3,660 meters) and a suspended span of 10,800 feet (3,300 meters).