Baltimore Key Bridge collapse

The economic impact of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore – which left six dead and one seriously injured – will be hefty.

The immediate price tag: $2 million dollars in wages a day and 8,000 jobs, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“Rebuilding will not be quick or easy or cheap,” Buttigieg told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

The area is a critical one for America’s economy. Ranked the United States’ largest vehicle handling port, the Port of Baltimore offers the deepest harbor in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Closer to the Midwest than any other East Coast port, the Port of Baltimore also is within an overnight drive of one-third of the nation’s population.

Between $100 million and $200 million of cargo passes through the port every day. With that coming to standstill, many longshore workers could be unemployed, Buttigieg warned this week.

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“About $2 million in wages… are at stake every day. And that’s one of the areas we’re mostly concerned about,” the transportation secretary explained.

“These longshore workers, if goods aren’t moving, they’re not working,” he added.

Companies are coping with the tragic disaster by rerouting shipments to other East Coast ports. About 4,000 commercial trucks a day used the bridge, and detours are expected to increase delivery times and fuel costs, according to Oxford Economics.

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