Cranes headed to Port of Baltimore expected to cause Thursday traffic delays along Bay, Key Bridges

Baltimore has the 8th longest commute in U.S.
Posted at 8:43 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 15:44:40-04

BALTIMORE — After a two-month sea journey from China, four new container cranes are expected to arrive Thursday at the Port of Baltimore.

Throughout the day commuters should prepare for some traffic delays.

Between 9:30 and 10am, the cranes are scheduled to make their way under the Bay Bridge which could hold up traffic in both directions during that time period.

From there, they will head underneath the Key Bridge where traffic could be delayed between 11:30am and noon.

Governor Larry Hogan will be at the port around 1pm to welcome the arrival.

The fully electric 450-foot tall -- 1,740 ton cranes are part of a $166 million investment in terminal and yard upgrades that includes a second 50-foot-deep berth to accommodate mega-ships.

The new cranes can extend 23 containers across a ship and lift 187,500 pounds of cargo. They're expected to be fully operational in early 2022.

“Baltimore is already one of the few ports on the East Coast capable of accommodating the world’s largest container ships,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “These new cranes will allow the Port to serve two ultra-large container ships simultaneously, boosting our capacity and giving us the opportunity to increase revenue and grow the jobs that help fuel Maryland’s economy.”

Business at the port has picked back up since the early months of the COVID-19.

Compared to July 2020, autos/light trucks at public marine terminals increased 20 percent, while roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery was up 19 percent, with breakbulk cargo up 40 percent.

Arrival of the cranes come months before construction crews break ground on the Howard Street tunnel expansion project.