Baltimore Officials to Open Temporary Alternate Channel near Key Bridge, Port Leader Announces

Baltimore Officials to Open Temporary Alternate Channel near Key Bridge, Port Leader Announces

The Captain of the Port of Baltimore says it is working to open a temporary alternate channel for commercially essential vessels near the northeast side of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge.

A crane stands by at Tradepoint Atlantic terminal near the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)(AP/Julia Nikhinson)

The Captain of the Port of Baltimore says it is working to open a temporary alternate channel for commercially essential vessels near the northeast side of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The announcement was made in an update Sunday evening from the Key Bridge Response team and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, marking the continued phased approach to opening the main channel after the bridge was struck, collapsing and killing 6 construction workers.

“This will mark an important first step along the road to reopening the port of Baltimore. By opening this alternate route, we will support the flow of marine traffic into Baltimore,” Capt. David O’Connell said.

Officials said the temporary channel would include government-lighted aids to navigation. It will also have “a controlling depth of 11 feet, a 264-foot horizontal clearance and vertical clearance 96 feet.”

As of Sunday evening, a 2,000-yard safety zone around the Key Bridge wreckage remains in effect “to protect personnel, vessels and the marine environment.”

Statements did not explicitly state when the temporary channel would be operational.

Response officials said seafarers should remain aware of updates through the “Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) via VHF-FM marine channel 16.”

Anyone in the public who encounters debris from the Key Bridge collapse is encouraged to call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (410) 205-6625.

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