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"The mission is not over. The work is not done." Largest channel to Port of Baltimore to open to 24/7 access

Gov. Wes Moore is proud of progress Unified Command made in eight weeks
Posted at 11:12 AM, May 21, 2024

DUNDALK, Md. — Another change to the view of the Patapsco River as the Dali was moved to port 8 weeks after the ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

"I can now look out over the Patapsco River and not see the Dali anymore. It's a beautiful sight. And it shows the progress is still here. But I will not be satisfied until I can look over the same site and see the Francis Scott Key Bridge standing again. That's mission completion," says Governor Wes Moore in a press conference this morning.

Continuing with the mission, crews are expected to open a 400-foot wide and 50-foot-deep channel today for 24/7 vessel access. The goal is to make the channel 700 feet wide and reopen open it to normal capacity. They are on target to open that by the end of May.

“What’s amazing is this, as the tugboats were pulling the Dali out, and the Dali was being moved over to Seagirt, literally as the Dali was still on the move, the unified salvage team was already back in the water clearing steel," said Gov. Moore.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, over 500 commercial vessels have sailed through alternate channels in the port of Baltimore over the last two-months.

More than 10,000 tons of steel have been lifted out of the water but there is still more work to be done.

"The state and their salvors continue to make excellent progress on that you can no longer see really any steel above the waterline in the areas outside the Federal channel. And they are going to continue to work on those sections, the spans that are just north and south of the channel. And they estimate that they're going to be complete with that some time in June, says Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath

Moore continues to push for the federal government's full funding of rebuilding the bridge and believes a new bridge could be complete by 2028, although admitting an aggressive timeline.

"I think the thing that we've continued to show, if you look at this operation, is that we can do big things. We can accomplish aggressive timelines. We just want to ensure that we have the partnership with Congress, and the partnership with all the partners necessary in order to accomplish this in a speedy fashion, " says Moore.

The Dali is expected to be at the Port of Baltimore for another 4 to 6 weeks. There is still roadway from the Key Bridge on the Dali and damaged parts of the ship need to be repaired before it can move on.

Crew members will have the opportunity to leave the ship.