Watch CBS News

Maryland to receive initial emergency relief funding of $60 million for Key Bridge collapse cleanup

Maryland to receive initial emergency relief funding of $60 million for Key Bridge collapse cleanup
Maryland to receive initial emergency relief funding of $60 million for Key Bridge collapse cleanup 02:52

BALTIMORE - Maryland is receiving an initial funding of $60 million from the federal government as the state works to clear the debris remaining from the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

The state sent a letter of request on Wednesday for Emergency Relief funding for mobilization, operations and debris recovery.

"We are deeply grateful to President Biden, to Secretary Buttigieg, to our federal delegation and all of our federal partners," Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said. "I'm grateful for the way the administration has continued to lean in and support us."

Early Tuesday morning, a cargo ship crashed into Baltimore's bridge, sending eight construction workers into the Patapsco River. One refused treatment, another was discharged from shock trauma, and the bodies of two others were recovered Wednesday morning. Four more are missing and are presumed to be dead.

 "The State of Maryland's budget for emergencies is limited and unable to fund an emergency of this magnitude," Wiedefeld wrote. 

Wiedefeld had hoped for a "quick release" of the $60 million.

"We have applied for the federal dollars that are available for this type of purpose," Wiedefeld said. "We intend to receive some federal dollars quickly and then we will start with the design for the replacement of the bridge to the port and get the community back up and running."  

Officials at a press conference on Wednesday said the first priority is to remove the debris from the Patapsco River, which will be assisted by the Army Corps of Engineers so that the shipping lanes can reopen.

The Baltimore district of the Army Corps of Engineers activated its Emergency Operations Center, which clears the way for more than 1,100 engineering, construction, contracting and operations specialists to provide support to local, state and federal agencies.

They are patrolling the waters of the Harbor and Patapsco River for drift and debris that could be hazardous to navigation.

"The most urgent priority is to open the Port of Baltimore because it is essential to the livelihood of people here in Baltimore, in Maryland, and the economies across our country and around the world," U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen said.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he intends to push the federal government to pay for the entire reconstruction of the bridge, and pledged to work with Maryland leaders to provide as much support as possible.  

"It is my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge, and I expect the Congress to support my effort," Biden said, adding that he plans to visit Baltimore as soon as he can.

The $60 million estimate made by the state of Maryland for initial expenses is, at most, just 10% of the estimated cost for response to the disaster, CBS News has learned following a Maryland Congressional delegation meeting.

The Maryland delegation talked about likely costs exceeding $1 billion and a "need for an emergency supplemental" aid package from Congress.  

Scott MacFarlane contributed reporting.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.