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Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Replacement: A Striking Landmark

Carlo Ratti Propose Innovative Design for Baltimore's Bridge Replacement

WeBuild / Carlo Ratti Associati / Michel Virlogeux

After the tragic collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in March, a team of experts has come together to propose an innovative design for its replacement. Led by renowned architect and MIT professor Carlo Ratti, Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and their collaborators, WeBuild and Michel Virlogeux, have envisioned a cable-stayed bridge that will not only serve as a functional infrastructure but also as a striking landmark at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor.

Carlo Ratti Propose Innovative Design for Baltimore's Bridge Replacement

The new bridge will feature a significantly longer span, stretching 2,230 feet compared to the original 1,200 feet. This expansion will allow for deeper ship channels, reducing the risk of collisions with support pillars. To accommodate taller ships, the clearance under the bridge will be raised to 230 feet, providing ample space for them to pass through. This upgrade is crucial in keeping Baltimore’s port competitive and adaptable to the growing size of modern vessels.

Carlo Ratti Propose Innovative Design for Baltimore's Bridge Replacement

To ensure minimal disruption during construction, the new bridge will be built near the site of the original Francis Scott Key Bridge. This strategic decision allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to swiftly construct a temporary crossing while the permanent structure takes shape. By doing so, the city can maintain its connectivity and functionality throughout the construction process.

Moreover, the upcoming bridge will feature additional lanes in both directions to accommodate the heavy traffic flow in Baltimore. It will incorporate cutting-edge technological advancements inspired by Carlo Ratti‘s work at MIT, ensuring efficient traffic management and proactive maintenance. The Baltimore bridge project is a collaboration of diverse talents, with architect Carlo Ratti leading CRA to bring innovative designs to the forefront.

Carlo Ratti Propose Innovative Design for Baltimore's Bridge Replacement

WeBuild, an Italian group with extensive construction experience, adds their expertise to the project, while Michel Virlogeux, renowned for their work on the world’s tallest bridge, the Millau Viaduct, contributes expert knowledge in structural engineering. With this collective proficiency, the team aims to deliver a visually contemporary bridge that prioritizes safety and durability for generations to come. Although awaiting official approval from Baltimore city and state officials, this proposal showcases a promising vision for the future of this crucial gateway.

\With this collaborative effort and innovative design, Baltimore can look forward to a new and improved bridge that not only restores its infrastructure but also enhances its skyline and harbor entrance.