Port of Baltimore Aims to Restore Maritime Traffic Amid Dali Ship Removal

Following the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, significant efforts are underway to address the aftermath involving the Dali container ship. Since the incident on March 26, the ship has remained immobilized, posing a barrier to maritime traffic through Baltimore’s port. The Port of Baltimore has announced plans to refloat and remove the vessel by May 10 to restore normal operations.

The Dali lost power and collided with a bridge support column, resulting in its current position amidst debris. Tragically, the incident led to the loss of six roadwork crew members, with four bodies recovered and two still missing. Maryland State Police Superintendent Roland Butler provided updates on search efforts, which rely on sonar imaging and mapping techniques to locate the missing individuals.

Despite the removal of 3,300 tons of debris from the Patapsco River, officials have not outlined a definitive timeline for cleanup completion or closure for the victims’ families. Governor Wes Moore reiterated his commitment to supporting these families during a recent news conference. The temporary opening of a deep-draft channel last week allowed some movement at the Port of Baltimore, but efforts are now focused on extracting the Dali, leading to the closure of the channel on Monday.

The entanglement of the ship with a large section of the bridge’s steel structure presents significant challenges, necessitating careful procedures to prevent further destabilization. Governor Moore emphasized the complexity of the operation, which includes the use of the country’s largest hydraulic grabber. Plans are in place to establish a 45-foot channel by May 10 and restore the main 50-foot channel by the end of the month to accommodate larger cargo ships.

The collapse has had severe repercussions for thousands of longshoremen, truckers, and small business owners. Recognizing the economic impact, local and state officials are prioritizing the full reopening of the port and have established assistance programs for those affected by its closure.

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