I-695 Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses in Baltimore: Alternate routes, more

Updated Mar 31, 2024

The I-695 Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Patapsco River in Baltimore Harbor was struck by a container ship at approximately 1:30 a.m. local time and collapsed into the water. 

Maryland's governor has declared a state of emergency and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), with jurisdiction over tollways in the state, advised travelers the I-695 Outer Loop was closed at Maryland 10 (exit 2), with the Inner Loop closed at Maryland 157/Peninsula Expressway (exit 43).

I-895 and I-95 were suggested as alternate routes, yet for large trucks hauling hazmat or oversize cargo, tunnels under the harbor along both routes remained off-limits. That includes the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel and the I-895 Baltimore Harbor tunnel. MDTA officials advised hazmat haulers use the Western part of the I-695 loop around the tunnels. 

The Port of Baltimore said that while vessel traffic into and out of the port "is suspended until further notice," the port is still open and "trucks are being processed within our marine terminals." Officials added that they don't know how long vessel traffic will be suspended.

Emergency responders continued to search for individuals in the water Tuesday morning at the scene of the wreckage of the bridge. As of 8:50 a.m. Eastern, reports indicated that at least seven people are being searched for in the water.

Federal, state and local officials began coordinating long-term response even as search and rescue continued. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pledged support in conversation with Maryland's governor and Baltimore's mayor in the hours after the collapse. Maryland DOT pointed to the MDTA account on X/Twitter as central for updates, including detours. Also find more on routes in reporting at this link. 

According to the MDTA, the I-695 outer crossing of the Baltimore Harbor opened in March 1977 as the final link in the Baltimore Beltway. The 1.6 mile Key Bridge crosses the Patapsco River where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words of the "Star Spangled Banner."