Marine Link
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Containership That Took Down Baltimore Bridge Refloated & Towed from Channel

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 20, 2024

(Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

(Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Recovery teams refloated a large containership impeding shipping in the Port of Baltimore early on Monday and began pulling it free of the main channel, two months after the vessel crashed into the Francis Scott Key bridge and caused the span to collapse.

Tugboats were leading the Dali to a local marine terminal after a successful effort to make the container ship buoyant at about 6:40 a.m. EDT (1040 GMT), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on social media platform X.

The removal of the Dali marked a significant step in the Port of Baltimore's recovery from the boat's March 26 collision with one of the bridge's support pillars. The bridge's collapse killed six road workers and hindered traffic through the busiest port for car shipments in the U.S.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore told NBC on Sunday that workers were on track to completely clear the channel this month, which would restore full access to the port. Since the bridge collapse, authorities have opened four temporary channels to allow some shipping to resume.

Crews set off controlled explosions last week to allow them to remove a portion of the fallen bridge from the bow of the Dali, which had been pinning the boat in place. That allowed salvage crews to haul away the twisted metal wreckage using cranes and barges, and free the boat for refloating and removal, the Corps of Engineers said.

Federal investigators said in a preliminary report last week that the Dali had lost electrical power several times before crashing into the bridge as it was leaving the port.

Maryland state officials estimate it will cost $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion to rebuild the bridge and anticipates completion by fall 2028.

(Reuters - Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Frank McGurty and Jonathan Oatis)