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58 vessels move through temporary channels at Port of Baltimore

Posted on April 15, 2024

Fifty-eight small commercial vessels have crossed into the Port of Baltimore as of Wednesday morning.

The small commercial vessels are using two small channels created by the US Army Corps of Engineers as they began removing the wreckage of the Key bridge.

Governor Moore and officials from USACE reiterated that crews have been working around the clock to fully reopen the deep draft channel — which has largely been closed since the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed last month after being struck by a cargo vessel.

Earlier this week, USACE laid out a timeline for getting the port back to near-normal operations. On Wednesday, officials confirmed that operations are on track to open a 280 feet wide and 35 feet deep channel by the end of April and the full deep draft channel should be open by the end of May.

Colonel Estee Pinchasin, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore, said that sonar images show pieces of the bridge truss have sunk below the mud line of the Patapsco River.

Sonar images show the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the Patapsco River in Baltimore.

Sonar images show the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the Patapsco River in Baltimore. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District/U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command and the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving

“The way that the wreckage came into the water, the roadway actually came all the way on top. So it’s not exposed, they’ve actually had to dig it out in order to be able to cut it,” said Pinchasin.

She explained that crews are now working to sever a 250-foot span of bridge truss into two 750 ton pieces. They’ll have to use a salvage bucket to dig up the buried roadway and will then use hydraulic shears to cut the truss.

“And then we’re gonna see the CHESSIE in action, taking it out over to Sparrows Point,” said Pinchasin, referring to theChesapeake 1,000– so named because it can lift 1,000 tons.

Meanwhile, 25 divers are still looking for the remains of three construction workers who were on the bridge when it fell.


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