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Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Reopening of the Federal Canal at the Port of Baltimore

By meerna Jun12,2024

Eleven weeks after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the main passageway of the Port of Baltimore has been fully restored.

On Monday, the Unified Command reopened the full width of the Fort McHenry Canal where the bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River.

“One of our four key directives in the wake of the Key Bridge collapse was to completely clean up the Federal Canal,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. “Today we are bringing this directive to an end. By working together, we turned months into weeks and recovered faster than many could have expected.”

The 700-foot-wide and 50-foot-deep canal will now allow two-way traffic for large ships.

“We are proud of the collaborative effort that has fully reopened the Federal Canal to port operations,” Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said in a statement. “The partnerships that endured through this response ensured the success of this critical mission.”

According to a report by CBS News, the reopening of the Federal Canal was only possible after nearly 50,000 tons of bridge wreckage was recovered from the river.

“We have cleared the Fort McHenry Federal Canal to ensure safe transit. USACE will maintain this vital waterway as we have for the past 107 years,” Col. Estee Pinchasin of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement to CBS. “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 all over the country and around the world, come together at Unified Command and achieve so much in such large numbers over time.”

The wreckage of the Key Bridge will continue to be brought to Sparrows Point for “further processing,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told CBS News.

“When we started pulling the pieces out, they were huge – 50 to 80 feet of wreckage that was still tied up and mangled,” Pinchasin said. “So we knew there were steel pieces below the mud line that we had to keep pulling out.”

The rescue team then broke up the pieces at Tradepoint Atlantic.

“That’s where we reduce the size of the material that’s brought in there and that’s sold for scrap and recycled,” Pinchasin said.

Using sonar, lidar and magnetometer, Unified Command has spent the past several days scanning underwater for the last bits of road debris and steel.

Now that the port is fully operational, attention has turned to rebuilding the bridge.

“With the canal now fully open, we can ensure more Marylanders return to work at the Port of Baltimore, increase the flow of commerce through the city and accelerate economic recovery,” Moore said in a statement. “But our work won’t be finished until we rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge.”

Source: CBS News, Wtopnews.com

By meerna

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