Another Milestone After Collapse of Baltimore Bridge

Shipping channel has fully reopened
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 11, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
Another Milestone After Collapse of Baltimore Bridge
Explosive charges are detonated to bring down sections of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge resting on the container ship Dali, May 13, 2024, in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

The main shipping channel into Baltimore's port has fully reopened to its original depth and width following the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which killed six people and blocked most maritime traffic into the harbor. Officials announced the full reopening in a news release Monday evening, the AP reports. It comes after a massive cleanup effort as crews removed an estimated 50,000 tons of steel and concrete from the Patapsco River. The Port of Baltimore, which processes more cars and farm equipment than any other in the country, was effectively closed for several weeks while the wreckage was removed. Crews were able to reopen portions of the deep-draft channel in phases, restoring some commercial traffic in recent weeks.

On May 20, the wayward cargo ship Dali was refloated and guided back to port. The vessel had been stuck amid the wreckage for almost two months, with a massive steel truss draped across its damaged bow. After the Dali was moved, crews opened a channel that was 50 feet deep and 400 feet wide. The full federal shipping channel is 700 feet wide, which means two-way traffic can resume, officials said. They said other additional safety requirements have also been lifted because of the increased width. The announcement Monday means the commerce that depends on the busy port can begin ramping back up. Officials have said they hope to rebuild the bridge by 2028.

(More Baltimore bridge collapse stories.)

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