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Baltimore shipping channel fully reopened after bridge disaster

Route to the Port of Baltimore Full reopening On Monday night, cargo traffic was allowed into the port at full capacity for the first time since the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after a collision in March.

The bridge was hit by a large cargo ship on its main central support, sweeping the entire bridge into the Patapsco River and killing six road workers. Army Corps of Engineers and other recovery teams have been working for months since, removing an estimated 50,000 tons of debris from the water so vital trade can fully resume.

“Baltimore has lost again,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (Democrat). He told The Washington Post“And once again, Baltimore has proven the world wrong.”

Workers acted quickly to partially reopen the waterway to small boats through a newly dug shallow channel just days after the bridge incident, and fully restored it sooner than expected, in about three months instead of the six months originally expected.

A total of 56 federal, state and local agencies participated in the salvage operation, including about 500 experts from around the world operating a flotilla of 18 barges, 22 tugboats, 13 floating cranes, 10 excavators and four research vessels, officials said.

“Words can’t express how proud I am of our team,” said Col. Estee Pinchasin, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore District. “It’s incredible to see so many people from different parts of government, across the country and around the world come together at a unified command and accomplish so much in such a short amount of time.”

The Port of Baltimore was the East Coast’s busiest port for automobiles before the bridge collapse, as well as an important coal and farm equipment terminal. Since the wreckage was removed and the ship that caused the bridge to collapse was floated in harbor, virtually no evidence of the disaster remains, except for the disappearance of the bridge deck itself.

The collapse of the bridge Received wide support Federal and state aid is on the way. President Biden has pledged federal funds to rebuild the bridge, which spans Interstate 495, which circles the city. Maryland highway officials hope to have the new bridge open by 2028.

The Associated Press contributed.