First Vessel to Transit Temporary Channel Around Collapsed Key Bridge


The first vessel to use a temporary channel around the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, six days after the closure of the Port of Baltimore, was a fuel barge being pushed by the tugboat Crystal Coast. This temporary channel, situated on the northeast side of the collapsed bridge, was established under a portion that remains standing and has a depth of 11 feet, accommodating shallow draught traffic like barges, reports Seatrade Maritime News.

The Temporary Channel

Transit through the temporary channel began at 3 pm local time on April 1st, with the fuel barge en route to the Dover Air Force base carrying a supply of jet fuel. The Key Bridge Response Unified Command emphasized that access to the temporary channel is limited to daylight hours and subject to the discretion of the Captain of the Port.

Efforts are underway to create a second temporary channel on the southwest side of the main channel, with a deeper draught of 15 – 16 feet to accommodate larger vessels. This phased approach aims to gradually reopen the main channel to maritime traffic.

The collapse of the Key Bridge on March 26th, caused by a collision with the container ship Dali, resulted in the tragic loss of six workers. Work continues to remove the wreckage of the collapsed bridge using crane barges.

Due to the port closure, export cargoes remain stranded on the dock, while major container lines are diverting import boxes to alternative US East Coast ports such as Newark and New York. CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container line, has declared Force Majeure on shipments to and from Baltimore.

Did you subscribe to our daily Newsletter?

It’s Free! Click here to Subscribe

Source: Seatrade Maritime News