Federal Lawmakers Unite to Ensure Full Funding for Key Bridge Replacement

In a display of bipartisan unity, Maryland’s federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to secure 100% federal funding for the replacement of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. The “Baltimore Bridge Response Invests and Delivers Global Economic Relief Act” or “Baltimore BRIDGE Relief Act” aims to remove the 10% cost-share requirement typically mandated for federal funds.

The bicameral legislation was jointly introduced by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Representatives Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, and Glenn Ivey. This unified effort underscores the urgency to rebuild the vital infrastructure link and restore the economic lifeline for the Port of Baltimore.

Governor Wes Moore commended the bill, stating that it fulfills President Biden’s commitment to have the federal government fully support the bridge’s reconstruction. While Maryland has received $60 million in Emergency Relief funds so far, the proposed legislation would ensure that the federal government covers the entire cost of the project.

Senator Van Hollen emphasized the profound impact of the bridge’s collapse, calling for unity and bipartisanship in the face of tragedy. “As we continue to mourn the lives lost in Baltimore, we are committed to doing everything we can to support our City, our state, and our workers,” he said.

Senator Cardin highlighted the precedent for the federal government assuming 100% of recovery costs after major disasters, citing examples such as the Northridge earthquake, the I-35W bridge collapse, and numerous hurricanes nationwide.

With the introduction of this legislation, Maryland’s federal lawmakers are taking a crucial step towards rebuilding the vital infrastructure and restoring the economic vitality of the region.