NewsKey Bridge Collapse


Largest claw of its kind helps remove Key Bridge wreckage from water

Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-30 18:21:07-04

DUNDALK, Md. — It’s the largest hydraulic grabber in the country, hooked up to the largest salvage crane on the Eastern seaboard.

Together, the pair will remove the thousands of tons of steel that remain in the Patapsco River, and on top of the Dali.

"This over here is the Chessie - largest crane as we were just mentioning. This right here is the Chessie's partner, Gus,” Governor Moore said as he showed reporters an image of the two pieces of equipment during a Tuesday press conference. “Chessie,” refers to the Chesapeake 1000 crane.

“Gus” weighs about 160 tons, and can lift up to 1,000 tons of material. Right now, it’s removing debris from the river bottom so crews can make the 38-foot limited access channel wider and deeper when it reopens - hopefully on May 10.

"Simultaneously, we continue to work to remove the Dali,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said. "We completed removing all the containers we needed to remove off the bow of the ship to make that operation as safe as possible. And we're gonna continue to plan to use precision cutting to make that operation as safe as possible to all of the salvors doing that job.”

While a tentative timeline was set for both reopening the limited access channel, and the main federal channel, officials couldn’t give a timeline for removing the Dali.

"I can’t give you an exact date of when the Dali’s gonna be removed because there’s a lot of factors that play into that - the engineering, the salvage operators themselves, and weather,” Gilreath said.

Five weeks since the collapse, the Governor and his partners reiterated their commitment to providing closure to the victims’ families by recovering their bodies. There are still two men unaccounted for, but efforts to find them continue.

"There's so much debris. We believe we have areas of interest. But we're unable to access those areas,” Maryland State Police Secretary Roland Butler said. "That’s why it's so important for the Unified Command divers to work in conjunction with the salvage divers to communicate what they're seeing, where they're locating things, and allow those Unified Command divers to develop an effective plan or survey to determine where they're gonna search once they have that area declared safe.”