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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Baltimore Can Use Grant to Boost Cargo Shipments

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 5, 2024

(Photo: USCG)

(Photo: USCG)

The U.S. Transportation Department on Friday said it reached an agreement with Baltimore County to revise an $8.26 million grant agreement to enable Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA) to accommodate more cargo.

Repurposing the funds will allow a boost in cargo to Sparrows Point at the Port of Baltimore, which is outside the area affected by last week’s collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge and continues to move cargo.

The changes will enable Baltimore County and TPA to speed paving at least 10 acres that will be used for an additional cargo laydown area by the end of April, the department said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday said it expects to open a new channel to the Port of Baltimore by the end of April, freeing up commercial shipping blocked by the bridge wreckage, and then restore port access to full capacity by the end of May.

The main channel has been blocked by wreckage since the fully loaded container ship Dali lost power and rammed into a support column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, killing six road workers and causing the highway bridge to tumble into the Patapsco River.

The Port of Baltimore ranks first in the United States for the volume it handles of autos and light trucks and farm and construction machinery, according to the state of Maryland.

The Transportation Department said the grant will more than double prior capacity of 10,000 autos monthly to over 20,000 autos per month at the TPA site.

The department last week gave Maryland $60 million in emergency "quick release" funding to begin clearing debris and preparing for rebuilding and on Friday formally asked Congress to recover all costs for rebuilding the bridge.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Christina Fincher and Mark Porter)