The front page of the March 27, 2024 New York Times, showing the collapse of the Key Bridge.
“There isn’t a temporary bridge structure to be put up at those span lengths,”—Professor Benjamin Schafer in the New York Times

As the nation woke up to news of the Baltimore Key Bridge disaster on March 26, Hopkins Engineers offered their insight into the collapse, rescue, and recovery efforts through local, national, and international media outlets. 

Structural engineer Benjamin Schafer, Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil and Systems Engineering, shared his expertise with Scientific American, New York Times, Washington PostBaltimore Sun, CBS News, NPR’s Morning Edition, and many other outlets.

“If you look at the size of the ships from the 1970s, when the bridge was built, to now, it’s radically changed…There are going to be lessons learned on how we manage our bridge support structures with respect to protecting it from shipping traffic.”—Benjamin Schafer in Scientific American.

Associate Teaching Professor and EP Civil Engineering Program Chair Rachel Sangree, an expert in structural engineering and historic structures, offered her insights to NPR’s All Things Considered, Bloomberg CityLab, Baltimore Banner, and more.

“That design enables us to span longer distances with less material…But what it means is that when one of the piers was hit, it didn’t only affect two spans,” she told Bloomberg City Lab.

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and marine robotics expert Jim Bellingham spoke of the difficulties of underwater rescue and recovery efforts with USA Today: “Nothing is staying put in the ocean. Everything is moving… You have to go underwater and visibility in coastal waters is typically very poor.”

The Whiting School community extends our sympathies and condolences to the victims, their families, friends, and all those affected.