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Temporary Shipping Route to Open Near Collapsed Baltimore Bridge

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In the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, authorities have announced the opening of a temporary channel to allow some commercial vessels to resume operations, in and out of the Baltimore port. This move is part of a phased approach to reopening the main channel, while cleanup efforts continue at the site of the collapsed bridge.

The Unified Command, a group of federal and state agencies overseeing the response to the bridge collapse, stated that the captain of the port is setting up a temporary alternate channel on the northeast side of the main channel for commercially essential vessels. The temporary route will be marked with navigational aids and will have a controlling depth of 11 feet, a 264-foot horizontal clearance, and a vertical clearance of 96 feet.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell, the federal response coordinator on-scene, said that opening the alternate route will support the flow of marine traffic into Baltimore. However, it remains unclear which specific vessels will be allowed to use it, and no timeline has been provided for when the alternate route will be opened.

An existing 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect, and no ships or people are allowed to enter this safety zone without authorization from the captain of the port.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed last week after being struck by a cargo ship, blocking all shipping traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore. The incident resulted in the death of six people who were conducting maintenance work on the bridge. Recovery crews have begun the delicate and complicated task of clearing up the steel and concrete debris from the incident site. The cargo ship Dali, which collided with the bridge, remains stuck at the incident site with all 22 crew members still on board.

This article is based on information from “Temporary Shipping Route Will Be Opened Near Collapsed Baltimore Bridge For ‘Commercially Essential Vessels’” by Siladitya Ray, published on Forbes.

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