Maryland Gov. Wes Moore joined WTOP stay from Dundalk, Maryland, to debate the restoration efforts after the Baltimore Key Bridge collapse.

Tuesday marks one week since tragedy eternally modified the panorama in Baltimore and Maryland.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, accompanied by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and different officers speaks throughout a information convention close to the scene the place a container ship collided with a help on the Francis Scott Key Bridge, in Dundalk, Md., Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)(AP/Matt Rourke)

In the in a single day hours final Tuesday, an enormous container ship hit the Key Bridge inflicting most of it to fall like a deck of playing cards into the Patapsco River.

Six building employees had been killed within the collapse. Two our bodies have been recovered — and 4 our bodies are nonetheless trapped within the wreckage in the midst of the water.

The price ticket for the restoration and to ultimately rebuild the Key Bridge will possible be close to $1 billion.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore joined WTOP stay from Dundalk, Maryland, to debate the restoration efforts.

Listen to the complete interview beneath. You may also learn the transcript.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore stay on WTOP

More on the Baltimore Key Bridge collapse

Anne Kramer: Joining us stay from Dundalk proper now could be Gov. Wes Moore. Gov. Moore thanks for being with us this afternoon. It has been one week because the tragedy on the Key Bridge, how would you characterize what it has been like because you had been instructed first about what occurred?

Wes Moore: Thanks for having me. I believe the the state remains to be in a way of mourning. We nonetheless have six households who’re dwelling a nightmare proper now and are simply searching for closure. And I additionally suppose we’ve been capable of see firsthand that our state is resilient, and that we’ve banded collectively. And I believe we’re actually exhibiting what it means to be “Maryland Tough” and “Baltimore Strong” on this second, the place we all know now we have a protracted street forward of us. We additionally know that even in simply this previous week, we’ve been capable of present that progress is feasible, so long as we’re keen to maneuver in a collaborative style. So I believe the state remains to be very a lot mourning. But I believe we’re exhibiting our resilience, as nicely.

Shawn Anderson: You’ve been very concerned within the particulars of this effort. The first a part of the bridge wreckage has been eliminated as every bit of metal and concrete comes out of the water. Where’s all of it going? What goes to occur to this particles that you recognize?

Wes Moore: So the particles goes to get processed over at Tradepoint. And we’re grateful that each one of all of our buddies over Tradepoint have been in a position to make use of that as an evaluation website for the metal that’s popping out. And we’re not speaking about small items. Just a day in the past, we had been capable of work to take away 200 tons of metal from the Patapsco. And only for individuals to get an understanding of what 200 tons is — 200 tons is similar weight of the Statue of Liberty. That’s what was eliminated a day in the past. And so we proceed to have operations the place we’re working to open channels.

Right now now we have two channels which are open — one has a few 10-foot draw, the opposite one has a few 14-foot draw. So we nonetheless know that there’s nonetheless fairly a bit of labor that should get carried out. Just for a way of individuals to grasp, to be able to obtain heavy autos, to be able to preserve automobiles, which is the most important income level for the Port of Baltimore, you want a few 35-foot draw. So there’s nonetheless extra work that must be carried out. Our people who’re at Tradepoint are serving to with the processing of the metallic because it comes out of the water.

Anne Kramer: Governor, are you able to clarify for our listeners why rescue crews can not get to the our bodies of the for building employees.

Wes Moore: The complexity of this operation is unprecedented. There hasn’t been a maritime tragedy as advanced as this one. Even whenever you have a look at what occurred in Tampa, otherwise you have a look at the bridge collapse in Minnesota. This one’s completely different as a result of it’s not only a bridge collapse. You’re speaking a few vessel, a ship, that’s the size of the Eiffel Tower and that’s the weight of the Washington monument that’s sitting within the Patapsco River and is caught there as a result of there’s a bridge that has 3,000 to 4,000 tons of metal that’s sitting on prime of the vessel. So the measure of complexity on that is staggering.

And I believe one factor individuals are seeing too is the place the ship is caught, you will have depths of as much as 50 ft within that space. And beneath the water, you will have metallic that’s simply fully damaged and mangled. And so it’s a really harmful scenario for our divers, the place actually because the divers are going into the water, you possibly can’t see any greater than a foot to 2 ft in entrance of you due to the quantity of particles that’s presently sitting within the water. I’m dedicated to creating certain that we will convey a way of closure to those households and a way of consolation to the six households who actually reside a nightmare.

I additionally know that now we have to prioritize and concentrate on the security of our rescue and emergency personnel as a result of we’ve already misplaced six Marylanders, and I’m not going to lose one other one on this second.

Shawn Anderson: Lot of curiosity about what occurred with the employees within the moments earlier than the bridge was hit. What are you able to inform us proper now? Were they instructed in time the ship was going to hit the bridge? Did they attempt to drive off the bridge? Do now we have any sense of what occurred there?

Wes Moore: Well, now we have a full NTSB investigation that’s going down proper now. And so we’re going to get solutions. The factor that we’re driving is that we wish it to be a speedy investigation. And then we’ll be capable of have all of the solutions to the various questions that now we have.

What we do know is that after the mayday was referred to as in, and the ship notified emergency personnel that they had been going to hit the bridge, to see the pace the primary responders moved in, is simply completely inspiring. We had first responders. We had MDTA, police, who then instantly sprung into motion, who went and stopped different autos from occurring the bridge. And by occurring the bridge and stopping extra autos from occurring the bridge, they saved numerous lives as a result of it wasn’t simply the automobiles that they stored them occurring the bridge, the place it could have been an much more lethal scenario.

What they did was they stored extra automobiles from driving off as a result of keep in mind, if that bridge would have collapsed, you continue to had automobiles that may have been arising the Key Bridge at 40, 50, 60 miles an hour within the darkness, and wouldn’t have even realized that the bridge was gone. So they might have stored on driving. And so the quantity of lives that had been saved by our first responders, it truly is a numerous quantity. So an enormous debt of gratitude that we owe to them.

Anne Kramer: Governor, transportation round Baltimore because of this. Tankers carrying hazardous chemical substances can’t go into the harbor within the Fort McHenry tunnels. Without the Key Bridge, the drivers need to go across the Beltway or use these tunnels to get by way of the town. What’s taking place now or goes to occur sooner or later to assist to strive alleviate a few of the congestion that possible goes to occur, possibly even nightmares for drivers to expertise within the coming weeks?

Wes Moore: Ever since final week, our Department of Transportation has been arising with and sharing different routes for our drivers. And so that features issues like 895 and 95. For folks that had been coming off different usages for for the bridge since you’re completely proper. There are over 36,000 people use the Key Bridge each single day. And so we’ve provide you with different routes, tunnels, and many others., that individuals can use to have the ability to get to the place they get to. But we additionally know and we’re grateful for the quantity of endurance that individuals have given for us as we proceed to adapt to this.

This is one thing that we all know we’re going to need to provide you with not simply short- or medium-term options to it. Making certain that we’re prioritizing that individuals can get to the place they stay and work and go to highschool in a fast and orderly style. And whereas we’re grateful for the endurance, we additionally need individuals to know that the work is being carried out across the clock with our Department of Transportation to make sure that we will have an ease of transportation property and pathways.

Shawn Anderson: Governor, President Biden will go to on Friday. We do not forget that the afternoon of the collapse, he pledged his intention for the federal authorities to pay the entire invoice to rebuild the Key Bridge. But then a number of days in the past, Sen. Chris Van Hollen recommended that about 90% could be lined by federal {dollars}. Given that the state has a $3 billion deficit within the transportation fund already, how is the state going to provide you with the remaining cash to complete the job?

Wes Moore: Well, one factor we all know is the help that we’ve obtained thus removed from the Biden administration has been extraordinary. My first name with the White House, I believe it was about 3 to three:30 within the morning, the night time of the tragedy. They have simply been constant companions with us all through. When we put within the emergency funding requests, they got here again with the preliminary $60 million that got here with an hours, which was document time. So they’ve been great companions on this.

But we do know that we’re going to want congressional help. And the purpose that we’re making on that is — this isn’t nearly Baltimore, and it’s not nearly Maryland. The Port of Baltimore is the most important port within the nation for brand spanking new autos, for heavy vans for agricultural gear. So this isn’t simply impacting Maryland. This is impacting the farmer in Kentucky. And that is impacting the auto employee in Ohio. And that is impacting the restaurant proprietor in Tennessee as a result of the most important port for issues like spices and sugars is the Port of Baltimore.

And in order that’s why we all know there must be a partnership. And there must be a shared duty in terms of getting the Port of Baltimore again up and going, in terms of getting the Key Bridge rebuilt. And when it goes to creating certain that we don’t have an effect on not simply Maryland’s financial engine, however this nation’s financial engine due to provide chain shortages.

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