Design teams invited to submit proposals for replacing Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge

The Maryland Transportation Authority has published a request for proposals (RFP) for design-build teams interested in rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge which collapsed in March after it was struck by a container ship.

The RFP, which was published on 31 May, calls for proposals to rebuild the 1970s-built landmark and to reconnect the I-695 Baltimore Beltway which the bridge had supported across the Patspco River.

Aerial photo from Maryland State Police showing the bridge site on 28 May. Photo: Maryland State Police

The agency said that it plans to use a two-phase progressive design-build process where designers and builders work together from the start of the replacement in order to encourage efficiency.

In the first phase a qualified team will be selected to provide initial services and help develop the project scope and requirements in collaboration with the transport authority and other stakeholders.

Once phase one has been successfully completed, the chosen party will then have exclusive negotiating rights to undertake the final design, engineering and construction.

If a guaranteed maximum price cannot be agreed then the agency said it will deliver the work under a separate contracting mechanism.

Proposals must be submitted by a deadline of 24 June 2024 and the winning bid team is expected to be selected in mid to late summer 2024. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2028.

Interested bidders can access the RFP at eMarylandMarketplace Advantage.

Paul J. Wiederfeld, Maryland transport secretary, said that the announcement marked a significant milestone in the agency’s efforts to rebuild the bridge and “make the Baltimore area whole again.”

“MDOT will continue to work closely with our local, state and federal partners as well as local communities to replace the Key Bridge as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.

The 47-year-old bridge dramatically collapsed on March 27 after Singapore-flagged container ship Dali struck one of its support columns, killing four members of a roadwork crew and leaving another two missing presumed dead.

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