Reverberations from the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore will be felt for a long time, with economic impacts locally and across the country.

Maryland lawmakers are already working on legislation to assist people who may be temporarily out of work because of disruptions at the Port of Baltimore. The Maryland Transportation Authority will also lose a chunk of revenue from tolls at the bridge that’s normally used to fund its projects and services.

According to MDTA’s Fiscal Year 2024 Traffic and Toll Revenue Forecast Update, published in November last year, the Key Bridge accounted for about 8% of MDTA’s toll revenue in fiscal year 2023. About 95% of all the organization’s revenue comes from either commercial or passenger vehicle tolls. Toll rates to cross the Key Bridge varied depending on the type of vehicle and the payment type — aside from the discounted commuter rate, prices range from $3 to $45.

Most toll revenue (29%) came from the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (14%) and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (26%), according to that same report.

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While S&P Global, a leading credit rating firm, said the collapse of the bridge is not likely to have any “immediate” credit implications for Maryland, MDTA and Baltimore, it said the “long-term financial impact” will “likely be unknown for some time,” especially for the MDTA.

Parts of the Beltway remain closed to vehicle traffic with the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The report, shared with The Baltimore Banner, said the agency expects federal, state and local assistance, and insurance reimbursements, “will provide credit stability in the near term.”

Cities and other governments need good credit ratings to finance costly infrastructure projects.

The MDTA also has a “sizable cushion to offset temporary revenue loss,” S&P said.

S&P also said it does not expect the bridge collapse and port closure to “have a material impact” on Maryland’s expenditures in the general fund, especially because federal emergency support is likely.

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he wants the federal government to cover the entire cost of replacing the bridge.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday said the federal government had already received an emergency funding request from Maryland, but he did not have any details about the request. He declined to speculate on a timeline or potential cost for the bridge replacement.

MDTA and Maryland Department of Transportation officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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