Baltimore bridge rebuild could take up to 10 years

FILE-In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

As cleanup and recovery efforts continue after a cargo ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, officials now have to determine how to rebuild the bridge and the length of time it will take.

FOX Television Stations reached out to David Turner, a spokesperson for Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, for comment.

The bridge collapse along I-695 will create logistical problems for months, if not years, in the region, shutting down ship traffic at the Port of Baltimore, a major shipping hub. The accident will also jumble cargo and commuter traffic.

How long will it take to rebuild the Baltimore bridge?

Construction on the bridge won’t be able to start until after the cleanup process starts, but it could take years and millions of dollars to restore. 

Benjamin Schafer, a professor of civil and systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University, told USA Today it could take a decade or longer to reconstruct.

And Sameh Badie, an engineering professor at George Washington University, tells the news outlet the cost of rebuilding the bridge will also depend on the new design.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge cost an estimated $110 million and took five years to build when it first opened in 1977.

RELATED: A history of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters this week that it was too soon to determine how long construction will take until an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the condition of the bridge is completed.

Buttigieg also explained to reporters that roughly $950 million in emergency relief funds is available as part of a fund established by the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act but he couldn’t confirm the amount accessible for Baltimore’s recovery efforts,  Forbes reported. 

RELATED: What Baltimore’s states of emergency mean after bridge collapse

President Joe Biden plans to travel to Baltimore, and shared that he expects the federal government to pick up the entire cost of rebuilding the bridge, the Associated Press reported. 

How many people are still missing after the bridge collapse?

Six construction workers were filling potholes on the bridge when the crash happened. Two people who were on the bridge were rescued.   

According to the Associated Press, the bodies of four of the six construction workers were still missing Thursday. Searchers recovered the bodies of 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes and 26-year-old Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera on Wednesday. 

The Francis Scott Key Bridge serves as a major East Coast hub for shipping and spans the Patapsco River, which large cargo ships use to reach the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.