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MacKay Bridge. (CREDIT: Skye Bryden-Blom)

Halifax reassures residents after ship hits Baltimore bridge

By Jacob Moore Mar 26, 2024 | 6:02 PM

The Halifax bridge commission says the bridges don’t need any additional impact risk mitigation.

The commission says it has taken multiple measures to mitigate the risk from a ship hitting the bridge, and they say Ship Impact Assessment studies show no additional structural changes are necessary to mitigate risk.

“Halifax Harbour Bridges would like all Nova Scotians to know that we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of the A. Murray MacKay and Angus L. Macdonald bridges, and all those who use them,” the commission writes in a news release. 

They say they’re aware of the risk that a ship may hit part of the bridge, which is why they have multiple “procedures and policies in place to mitigate that risk.”

This comes after a major bridge in Baltimore collapsed after it was hit by a nearly 1000-foot-long cargo ship on Tuesday morning.

The commission says they’re notified every time a commercial ship passes below the bridge, and they work with the Port of Halifax to help guide ships, including cameras, monitors and physical lookouts.

Before ships go under the bridge, the commission also knows the distance between the air gap between the top of the cargo ship and the bridge.

Halifax Harbour Bridges says it practices several emergency evacuation plans on a regular basis.

In 1979, a report recommended that the commission build rock islands in the harbour to protects the legs of the bridge in case any ships travelling below lost control. That work finished in 1983, the commission says.