Port of Baltimore Reopens After Key Bridge Collapse


The shipping channel in the Port of Baltimore fully reopened Monday, months after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed when it was struck by a shipping vessel.

The 700-foot-wide and 50-foot-deep channel reopened for commercial use after being closed for more than 11 weeks. In March, the Dali, a 213 million-pound shipping vessel, experienced a power outage and crashed into the bridge, killing six construction workers who were on the bridge at the time and leaving debris in the water.

The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge lay on top of the container ship Dali, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

“Yet again, Baltimore was counted down and out,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott told the Washington Post. “And yet again, Baltimore proved the world wrong.”

The closure has reportedly cost the Baltimore region $1.2 billion, a figure that takes into account lost revenue and the spending on clearing the channel itself. At the time of the bridge collapse, the Port of Baltimore was one of the busiest in the country, seeing 850,000 vehicles annually and was the busiest port for automobiles on the East Coast.

Multiple government agencies were involved in the cleanup, including 56 federal, state, and local agencies, which included about 500 specialists, operating 18 barges, 22 tugboats, 13 floating cranes, 10 excavators, and four survey boats.

Explosive charges are detonated to bring down sections of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge resting on the container ship Dali on Monday, May 13, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

“I cannot overstate how proud I am of our team,” Col. Estee Pinchasin, Baltimore district commander for the Army Corps of Engineers, said. “It was incredible seeing so many people from different parts of our government, from around our country and all over the world, come together in the Unified Command and accomplish so much in this amount of time.”

The Dali was stuck in the water, with the crew on board, for nearly two months before the ship was able to be removed from the wreckage. The ship was removed on May 20, and cruise ships later began to utilize the 400-foot channel on May 27.

President Joe Biden has pledged to fully fund a replacement bridge. Maryland officials hope to have a new bridge open by 2028. In 2023, 11 million passengers crossed the bridge.

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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