First commercial vessel sails through Baltimore’s new channel

First commercial vessel sail through Baltimore's new channel

After more than a month since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the first commercial cargo ship has passed through Baltimore’s newly constructed deep water channel.

According to The New York Post, the Balsa 94, a bulk carrier bound for Saint John, Canada, was guided by two tug boats through the temporary 35-foot-deep channel on 25 April, and two additional commercial ships arrived later that day.

The Balsa 94 was one of five cargo ships trapped in the Port of Baltimore when the Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge on 26 March, killing six workers and suspending port operations.

The Port of Baltimore gives a port update on 23 April via X (formerly known as Twitter)

CBS News reported that the rescue effort is being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which stated that the canal will enable barge container service as well as certain RoRo vessels that transport automobiles and farm equipment.

U.S. Coast Guard Commander, Braxton Smoak, said: While this is a monumental milestone, it’s not over yet.”

The Port of Baltimore announced the opening of its first alternative channel on 2 April, just one week after the bridge collapse.

Three weeks later, the port stated that a third temporary route had opened, allowing vessels to reach the port as crews continued to clear debris.

According to The Independent, the temporary passage must be closed again to allow workmen to remove steel from the Dali and refloat the ship before being directed back to the port.

On 24 April, the BBC reported that Baltimore filed a lawsuit against the owner and manager of the Dali.

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