US Coast Guard Opens Second Temporary Channel near Key Bridge Collapse Site

The temporary channel has a depth of 14 feet with 280 feet of horizontal clearance and 124 feet vertical clearance. The Key Bridge Response 2024 team is working on removing wreckage using crane barges. Transit is limited to daylight hours at the captain's discretion. The deep draft channel remains the top priority.
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The US Coast Guard has opened a second temporary channel near the Key Bridge collapse site in Baltimore, with a depth of 14 feet and 280 feet of horizontal clearance. Transit through this channel will be allowed only during daylight hours at the discretion of the captain of the port. This channel complements an 11-foot depth channel that opened earlier on the northeast side of the collapsed bridge. US Coast Guard Cmdr. Baxter Smoak described the opening of these channels as a significant milestone in response efforts, allowing for the transit of critical resources and commercial traffic.

The Key Bridge collapsed on March 26 after being struck by the container ship Dali, resulting in the deaths of six workers. Work is ongoing to remove the wreckage using crane barges, with a focus on opening a deep draft channel for increased capacity. A safety zone of 2,000 yards around the bridge remains in effect, with access restricted to authorized personnel only. The owners of the Dali have denied responsibility for the accident, stating that the ship experienced a power outage before the collision.

The US Coast Guard is prioritizing the opening of the deep draft channel while also working on additional routes to increase capacity in the area. Despite the tragedy, efforts are being made to restore normalcy to the waterway and ensure safe transit for vessels. The incident has highlighted the importance of safety measures and coordination in maritime operations to prevent similar accidents in the future.

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