After bridge collapse: Baltimore harbor access reopened

After bridge collapse
Baltimore port access reopened

The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge lies on the container ship Dali in mid-April. Photo

© Julia Nikhinson/AP/dpa

With heavy equipment and hundreds of emergency personnel, around 50,000 tons of debris were recovered from the water. The access to the port of Baltimore is now open to traffic again.

Eleven weeks after the collapse of a major highway bridge in the US city Baltimore’s harbor entrance is now fully navigable again. The channel has been cleared and is now back to its original size of around 210 meters wide and 15 meters deep, according to a statement from the responsible authorities. Previously, there had only been a limited lane for commercial shipping.

At the end of March, the container ship “Dali” rammed a support pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing the more than 2.5-kilometer-long, four-lane highway bridge to collapse. Since then, salvage teams have been working to recover parts of the bridge from the water and remove the ship, which was partially buried under debris, from the scene of the accident. The bridge collapse, which left six people dead, also had immense economic consequences, as one of the most important seaports in the USA was temporarily unusable.

Around 50,000 tons of debris have been removed from the Patapsco River in recent months, the authorities announced on Monday. More than 1,500 emergency workers and around 500 specialists from all over the world were involved in the work with barges, floating cranes and excavators. “We can achieve great things if we work together,” said Maryland Governor Wes Moore in a statement. However, the work will not be finished until the Francis Scott Key Bridge has been rebuilt.

Six men were killed in the accident. They were construction workers of Latin American origin who were carrying out repairs on the bridge at the time of the accident. Initial findings suggest that the ship may have become unmaneuverable due to a power failure. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation.

Message Key Bridge Response Message Wes Moore

dpa

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