Baltimore shipping lane fully reopens after cargo ship bridge collapse in March

Baltimore, Maryland - The Baltimore shipping lane blocked for more than two months after a cargo ship collided with a major bridge in March, sending it crashing into the water, fully reopened on Monday, authorities said.

The Baltimore shipping lane blocked for more than two months after a cargo ship collided with a major bridge in March, sending it crashing into the water, fully reopened on Monday, authorities said.
The Baltimore shipping lane blocked for more than two months after a cargo ship collided with a major bridge in March, sending it crashing into the water, fully reopened on Monday, authorities said.  © Andrew Harnik / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The US Army Corps of Engineers, along with Navy salvage divers, restored the channel to its original dimensions by removing about 50,000 tons of debris from the Patapsco River, a statement from the Key Bridge Response Unified Command said.

The riverbed was certified as safe for transit on Monday.

"We are proud of the unified efforts that fully reopened the Federal Channel to port operations," said Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon, commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers.

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"The partnerships that endured through this response made this pivotal mission successful."

What happened to the Francis Scott Key Bridge in March

People visit a memorial to honor the six men killed in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 12, 2024.
People visit a memorial to honor the six men killed in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 12, 2024.  © BONNIE CASH / AFP

On March 26, the Singapore-flagged M/V Dali lost power and plowed into a support column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse and killing six road workers who had been filling potholes overnight.

The 106,000-ton ship had been headed for Sri Lanka at the time of the accident.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the incident along with the FBI, has said the ship had two electricity blackouts in the moments before the disaster.

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The Dali was refloated last month and towed back into port.

The port of Baltimore is one of America's busiest ports and a key hub for the auto industry, handling almost 850,000 cars and light trucks last year – more than any other US port, according to state figures.

The full reopening of the shipping channel will allow for two-way traffic, Monday's statement said.

Cover photo: Andrew Harnik / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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