Temporary Canal Opens Baltimore Port to Smaller Vessels

A Coast Guard Station Milford Haven 29-foot Response Boat-Small boat crew assesses the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, March 29, 2024. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
The Port of Baltimore struggles to restore commercial shipping after a bridge collapse. Recovery efforts face challenges as a cargo ship with 4,000 containers is stuck under debris. Officials work to clear the port, uncertain of the timeline. Limited shipping resumes, while President Biden plans to assess the situation firsthand.
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The Port of Baltimore opened a temporary channel to free trapped tugboats and barges after a bridge collapse last week, but full restoration of commercial shipping faces challenges due to difficult conditions. The Baltimore Ship Canal has been blocked since a container ship collided with a bridge support, causing the collapse. Efforts to reopen the port, the largest in the U.S. for vehicle imports and exports, are underway, but a cargo ship with 4,000 containers and a crew is still stuck under the rubble.

Recovery efforts have been slow and daunting, with officials comparing the magnitude of the debris to the size of the Statue of Liberty. The twisted steel beams in the water make the task even more complicated, with no clear estimate of how long it will take to clear the port. Limited shipping traffic has resumed through temporary channels, with plans for additional deeper channels in the coming days.

US President Joe Biden will inspect the recovery efforts during his visit to Baltimore, with the administration working to secure resources and funding for the rebuilding of the bridge. The scale of the disaster has presented significant challenges for the recovery teams, requiring careful planning and coordinated efforts for the restoration of commercial shipping in the area.

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