Baltimore Should Get An Iconic Bridge To Replace Key Bridge

When the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being struck by a massive container ship early in the morning on March 26, six highway workers were killed, a segment of the Baltimore Beltway was severed, the Port of Baltimore was largely shut down for two months — and the city lost an important piece of its identity.

Before its destruction made it famous, the Key Bridge was not really a landmark like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge or other charismatic spans that serve as symbols for their host cities. Built in 1977, it was a more utilitarian structure, with brawny trusswork that evoked the city’s industrial past, and an important job to do: It could carry the fuel-hauling tanker trucks that are prohibited from traveling through two nearby tunnels. Its visibility at the mouth of Baltimore’s harbor marked it as a prominent link between the modest communities that line the blue-collar waterfront and the glass apartment and office towers that now define the downtown skyline.

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