Port of Baltimore Back Online 3 Months After Deadly Collapse

(NewsSpace.com) – On March 26, a cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge, sending it careening into the Patapsco River below. It took crews several weeks to recover the bodies of the six road workers who were on the structure when it collapsed. After that, efforts shifted to clearing the Dali and the bridge debris from the shipping channel so it could reopen. Now, it is, months ahead of schedule.

On Wednesday, June 12, the Port of Baltimore’s main shipping channel reopened. That will allow cargo ships to transport goods once again. Maryland Governor Wes Moore (D), Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and several local politicians were on site to celebrate the event. Moore spoke about how people “said it would take multiple months for us to get to this point,” perhaps even a year, but “we got this thing done in 11 weeks.” While he was speaking, a ship sounded its horn, to which the governor said, “You hear that? That’s a beautiful sound.”

The Port of Baltimore is an enormously busy hub. More than 15,000 people work onsite, and another 140,000 rely on the activities. The crash had a severe effect on those jobs and the ability to provide goods to businesses around the world. Removal of the Dali, which was held in place by bridge debris, was crucial to moving forward with the project. Over 50 agencies and 500 specialists worked to free the bridge and remove the debris that posed a hazard to vessels before the shipping channel could re-open. The costs for the salvage alone reached about $160 million.

While the port reopening is a significant milestone, the work is far from done. Officials are working on a plan to construct a new bridge across the Patapsco River, and hope to have it in place by 2028. It’s expected to cost $2 billion to replace the structure.

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