Coast Guard bet on how soon the Key Bridge would be destroyed by ship

Originally published at:


So who won the betting pool?


There’s a letter to the LA TImes (pushed by Google News’s algorithm) that talks up tunnels

However. Hazardous Goods don’t belong in tunnels.

The Key Bridge was an important link along Interstate 95, the major overland shipping corridor that runs the length of the East Coast. It was also one of three links connecting the south side of Baltimore to the north. The remaining two are tunnels, which have height, width and material restrictions; hazardous materials are prohibited.

Now, Mason said, companies can still traverse the coast, but their options will likely add time, traffic and money, and may require travel along smaller roads. All of those factors are likely to cause additional bottlenecks and chokepoints, leading to shipping delays.


Elon Musk, bring on your Boring Company

Or, and hear me out here, we let an actual professional tunneling company do it. The ones that actually have experience with tunneling under the sea.


Seeing as we don’t get on with the EU any more, we’ve got a slightly used Channel Tunnel we could sell them.


*pick up only, all sales final


Given how the fit and finish is on Tesla’s I imagine the coast guard would have to change the betting pool to how long until a ship ends up in the musk tunnel


I don’t know anything about the geology of this particular area but digging a tunnel isn’t the only way to build an underwater passageway. Lots of tunnels, like the transbay tube BART uses, are built in sections and lowered into the water for assembly one piece at a time.

Whether a bored tunnel or a constructed tube makes more sense in this situation it’s terrifying to think that anyone would imagine Elon Musk is the person to fix this.


I, for one, am filled with vigorous enthusiasm for the safety of a large tunnel that has given special permission to bypass anything described as ‘bureaucratic delays’.

As we all know, those are purely obstructionism and it’s not like any important engineering or risk analysis takes time to do. Just roll up your sleeves and let optimism maintain the structural integrity!


It seems morbid now, but when I used to work in the WTC in Manhattan we often used to talk about small planes potentially hitting the building (when they flew down the Hudson they were lower than the floor we were on) and how far out into the river we would end up.
People always speculate about disasters happening to big structures, but that doesn’t mean there is any special knowledge, just people talking shit.


The day 9/11 happened my wife called me - I was on the west coast so it was early and I was groggy. When she told me a plane had flown into the WTC, this is exactly what I assumed had hapened

And I thought, ok, that’s sad, probably for several people, but probably not something you had to get me out of bed for?


… worked for Ayn Rand’s submarine, right :thinking:


I’m wondering if the rebuilding will be another truss bridge, in order to keep that iconic look, or if a completely new bridge design comes in. Given the “Erector Set” (or, if you’re British, Meccano?) ricketyness look of the bridge, I’m thinking the latter, if only to reassure people that this one won’t fall down.

1 Like

Not the 6 people who lost their lives…


Can any bridge withstand 100,000 tons of ship ploughing into it?


So, HyperLoop then instead of Boring?

1 Like

If it is designed for it, yes. It’s no big deal to calculate the forces involved and the structures to deal with them. There are huge bridges designed to shrug off mayor earthquakes.
It just would be somewhat on the expensive side.


Faith & baling wire, it’s all you need. Oh, and duct tape.

1 Like

It doesn’t actually need to withstand a hugely massive impact in its entirety. It could be built in modules that are independently structurally sound, so that a major failure only brings down one section. Failure of a section would still be a calamity, but seeing as complete invulnerability is impossible, this would isolate the damage and the risks to people, and be easier to rebuild quickly.


I understand that Cybertrucks can be used as a boat over limited distances. How about if Elon built a gigantic Cybertruck that could be used as a Cyberferry to carry goods and vehicles across the river? With advanced MuskAI™ “ship-dodging” algorithms to ensure that no collisions occurred.

I can’t see how that could go wrong.