It's on us. Share your news here.

Port of Baltimore workers eager to get back to work after Dali removed from shipping channel

Posted on May 22, 2024

Port of Baltimore workers are looking forward to a return to some normalcy as operations slowly resume after the Dali cargo ship was removed from the shipping channel.

The Key Bridge Response Unified Command said the shipping channel should be clear to 400 feet wide by the end of Tuesday, with the full 700-foot channel open by the end of next week.

Port workers are relieved cargo ships are already starting to return. For eight weeks, longshoremen have been largely out of work since the Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing its collapse.

“It’s unbelievable. Nobody would’ve ever believed something like this would’ve happened,” Longshoremen Tom Muir told 11 News.

The shipping channel to the port nearly closed as the Dali was stuck in the bridge wreckage. Crews were able to re-float the Dali on Monday and docked it at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, marking a big step toward returning port traffic to normal.

Scott Cowan, president of the Local 333, International Longshoremen’s Association in the Port of Baltimore, told 11 News that workers are happy and relieved their work is starting to resume.

“We had some ships over the weekend. We’re getting a little bit better, so we’re hoping that we have back to full capacity by sometime in June,” Cowan told 11 News.

“Over the next week, we expect another 20 vessels and barges to come through the port’s public terminals, but I want to be very, very clear this morning: The mission is not over,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said at a news conference Tuesday morning.


Crews will continue clearing debris from the water until the 700-foot-wide, 50-foot-deep main channel can reopen, hopefully by the end of next week.

The longshoremen said they are grateful for the quick work of the Unified Command.

“The speed of the port opening, the channel back up, also protects the cargo that was coming here to the port,” Cowan said of cargo that was diverted to other ports. “The longer that the break in the cargo coming here would be the more, I would say, the more vulnerable we are to losing that cargo to another port.”

Tom Muir told 11 News he misses coming to work at the port and is anxious to get back to normal.

“I mean, it’s the greatest thing that could happen. Everybody, you know, can’t wait to get back to work,” Muir said.

Even once the 700-foot channel reopens, the work isn’t over. Crews will continue to work on the areas on either side of the shipping channel, hoping to complete that in June.


The Dali container ship crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge shortly before 1:30 a.m. on March 26, 2024, causing the 47-year-old structure to collapse into the Patapsco River.
Maryland Transportation Authority police officers stationed at both ends of the bridge to protect a construction crew were able to close the bridge to traffic in the seconds before impact. Video showed two vehicles crossing the bridge within 30 seconds of the collapse.
Crews rescued two people, but six members of the construction crew were unable to get to safety. It took weeks for crews to recover all six victims. They are: Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, of Baltimore; Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, of Dundalk; Maynor Yasir Suazo-Sandoval, 38; Carlos Daniel Hernández Estrella; Miguel Angel Luna Gonzalez, 49, of Glen Burnie; and José Mynor López, 37, of Baltimore.
The 1.6-mile bridge opened in March 1977 as the final link of the Baltimore Beltway (Interstate 695), crossing over the Patapsco River. The four-lane bridge had a vertical clearance of 185 feet and it carried more than 12.4 million vehicles in 2023, the MDTA said. In May 2024, state transportation officials said it could take as long as four years and as much as $1.7 billion or more to rebuild the Key Bridge, and they started the process.
The wreckage blocks access to the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest American ports that handles some 52 million tons of cargo and contributes $80 million in U.S. trade. It’s the busiest U.S. port for cars and light trucks. The Coast Guard opened temporary channels to allow essential commercial vessels to move through the impacted area. Several vessels that were stuck at the port could finally leave upon the opening of a fourth, 35-foot-deep channel.
On May 7, 11 News Investigates broke the news that Unified Command would use explosives as part of precision cuts to break apart the massive bridge truss that sat on the bow of the Dali in order to remove it and re-float the vessel. Detonation took place on May 13, and 11 News Investigates broke the news shortly thereafter and explained why not all of the truss was removed by the precision cuts. Unified Command was then able to re-float and move the Dali to Seagirt Marine Terminal on May 20.
On April 15, 2024, the Associated Press reported that the FBI started a criminal investigation into whether federal laws were followed. The same day, the city of Baltimore launched “legal action to hold the wrongdoers responsible.” At the beginning of April 2024, the companies linked to the Dali filed a petition in court for liability protection.
See Debris? Call the Coast Guard: 410-205-6625 | Full story
Disaster Loan Assistance: Small Business Administration – Call: 800-659-2955 or email
The governor announced on March 30 that the U.S. Small Business Administration is making Maryland businesses impacted by the bridge collapse eligible for its low-interest, long-term Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help overcome temporary loss of revenue (full story here).
There are eligibility requirements and restrictions on use for the loans. See how to apply here or call 800-659-2955. The filing deadline for applications is Dec. 30, 2024.
Business Recovery Centers
Glen Burnie Library
1010 Eastway
Glen Burnie, MD 21060
Monday-Thursday, 10am-6pm
Friday, 10am-5pm
Saturday, 10am-2pm
Sunday, closed
CareFirst Engagement Center
1501 S. Clinton St., Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21224
Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm
Saturday, 10am-2pm
Sunday, closed
American Job Center
7930 Eastern Ave.
Dundalk, MD 21224
Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm
Saturday, closed
Sunday, closed
It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe