Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Completely restored Federal Canal for the Port of Baltimore

By meerna Jun12,2024

The Fort McHenry Federal Canal, which was blocked after a cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, causing it to collapse, has reopened for full operation following the removal of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Navy’s Superintendent of Salvage and Diving United approximately 50,000 tons of bridge wreck from the Patapsco River.

“We have cleared the Fort McHenry Federal Canal, allowing safe transit,” Baltimore District Commander Col. Estee Pinchasin said in a statement Monday. “While the overarching goal of restoring the Federal Canal to full operational capacity was successful, we thought every day of those who lost their lives, their families and the workers affected by this tragic event.”

Six construction workers who were on the bridge when it collapsed lost their lives.

The ship that caused the tragedy, the Dali, was safely relocated on May 20, allowing the Limited Access Canal to be widened to 400 feet by May 21. This enabled all deep-draft merchant ships to pass through the Port of Baltimore before collapsing.

The full renovation of the canal now allows two-way traffic and removes additional safety requirements that were previously in place due to the reduced width of the canal.

“I cannot overstate how proud I am of our team. It was amazing to see so many people from different parts of our government, from across the country and around the world, come together at Unified Command and achieve so much during this time,” said Estee Pinchasin.

The work to remove the entire wreck involved, among others, over 2,000 people and experts in the field, almost two dozen tugboats, 13 floating cranes and 10 excavators.

According to officials, the canal closure has become a major problem for the region’s economy and has put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

Rebuilding the bridge is a priority, and President Biden has announced federal support for the effort. While the cost of reconstruction is unclear, the Insurance Information Institute estimated the bridge alone could be worth more than $1.2 billion.

Related articles: Rescue efforts underway after cargo ship crash causes Baltimore bridge to collapse

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