Task Force Rushes To Open a Temporary Shipping Lane After Bridge Collapse

(PatriotWise.com) — Officials coordinating the clean-up of the wreckage from last week’s bridge collapse in Maryland are working to clear pathways to resume shipping into the Port of Baltimore, CBS News reported.

Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell, who is coordinating the unified response team, told CBS News that two auxiliary channels, one along the northeast and another along the south, should be opened by Monday.

The northeast channel would accommodate boats that could operate in water depths of 10 feet or less, while the south channel would be for boats requiring water depths of up to 14 feet.

O’Connell said the Coast Guard was working on removing the existing debris in the south channel.

Currently, the two temporary channels would be used for response and salvage vessels as well as commercially essential vessels. Another deeper channel for vessels requiring a water depth of up to 25 feet was also in the works. However, the debris surrounding the container ship Dali first needed to be removed.

O’Connell told CBS News that smaller commercial vessels and small tugboats were expected to be using the two temporary channels in the next few days. However, given the depth limitations of the first two, O’Connell said there would not be a lot of vessels. Once the third channel that allows for boats with a 25-foot draft was cleared, more commercial vessels would be able to access the Port.

Crews continue to clear the debris from the collapsed bridge. Over the weekend, a large 200-ton section was removed.

O’Connell said opening alternate channels was an “important first step” to reopen the port.

The channels will be marked by lights to aid navigation

According to Governor Wes Moore’s office, crews would be working around the clock to clean up the wreckage until the port was reopened.

While appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Governor Moore told host Dana Bash that while it has been a complex operation, “movement is happening.”

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