Donna Deegan assures Jacksonville: No worries of Baltimore-style bridge collapse
Image via City of Jacksonville

Donna Deegan
'Dolphins' make the difference.

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is leading a Florida Mayor to assure her city’s residents that such a thing couldn’t happen locally.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said her office is “saddened by the situation in Baltimore and are praying for their community,” before contending there’s no chance such a thing will happen in Northeast Florida given the “safeguards in place to protect our infrastructure here in Jacksonville.”

“The Dames Point Bridge, the only bridge that cargo ships calling JAXPORT sail under, has hard infrastructure (large concrete structures called “dolphins”) in place to protect the base of the bridge piers from any vessel impacts. Additionally, specialty sensors (called Air Gap sensors) are located on the bridge to provide real-time information on the distance between the water surface and the bottom of the bridge structure over the main channel,” Deegan said of the structure, completed in 1989.

Baltimore’s Key Bridge, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority, “opened in March 1977 as the final link in I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway).” It took five years to complete.

“The 1.6 mile Key Bridge crosses over the Patapsco River where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words of the Star Spangled Banner. This facility also includes the Curtis Creek Drawbridge. Including the bridge and approach roadways, the facility is approximately 10.9 miles in length.”

Two survivors have been rescued in the wake of the Tuesday morning incident. Motorists and a crew said to be fixing potholes by Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld have yet to be accounted for nine hours after the incident, suggesting slim hopes for more survivors to be found.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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