Alternative shipping channel opens amid Baltimore bridge collapse

Alternative shipping channel opens amid Baltimore bridge collapse

As part of a large recovery operation, officials have created a temporary ship path near the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland.

This announcement comes one week after the bridge fell after being struck by the Dali containership.

Following the collision, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore temporarily halted ship travel into and out of the port.

At a press conference held on 1 April, Maryland Governor, Wes Moore, said: “The temporary channel, to the northeast side of the collapsed bridge, would help get more vessels in the water around the site of the collapse.”

According to BBC News, Moore emphasized the need of transporting the rubble, which he claimed was necessary for reconstructing the bridge, and explained the operation’s risks.

The Port of Baltimore announced that the Captain of the Port (COPT) built the channel, which will be available to commercially-essential vessels.

The tugboat Crystal Coast, which was towing a fuel barge, used the temporary alternate channel on 2 April, making it the first vessel to do so since the bridge collapsed into the federal canal.

On 27 March, one day after the bridge collapse, President Joe Biden emphasized that the US government would: “Move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible.”

US Coast Guard Captain, David O’Connell, stated: “This marks an important first step along the road to reopening the Port of Baltimore. By opening this alternate route, we will support the flow of marine traffic into Baltimore.”

According to The Independent, a US Coast Guard representative noted that there are plans to have a second southwest channel and a third channel to aid deeper vessels entering the area.

On 27 March, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) established a collaboration with Synergy Marine Pte Ltd, a ship management firm, to offer information and support the US Coast Guard’s investigation into the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

That same day, two bodies were recovered from waters beneath the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland.

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