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Baltimore workers to move crashed cargo ship that downed bridge

REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS / MAY 13
                                Smoke rises, following a detonation of explosives to free the container ship Dali, after it was trapped following its collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse, in Baltimore, Maryland.
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REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS / MAY 13

Smoke rises, following a detonation of explosives to free the container ship Dali, after it was trapped following its collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Workers in Baltimore were preparing to clear a crashed cargo ship nearly as long as the Eiffel Tower from the channel it is blocking, officials said on Sunday, almost two months after the vessel downed the Francis Scott Key bridge, paralyzing a major eastern U.S. port.

The unified command organizations overseeing the response said work would begin early on Monday to move the cargo ship Dali to a local marine terminal.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore told NBC’s Meet the Press that workers were on track to completely clear the channel this month, which would restore full access to the busiest port for car shipments in the U.S.

“By the end of May, we’ll have that federal channel reopened and within days, we’re going to have that massive vessel, the Dali, out of that federal channel,” Moore said.

Federal investigators said in a preliminary report last week that the Dali had lost power several times before crashing into the Key Bridge. The impact caused the bridge to collapse, killing six road construction workers and hindering vessel traffic through the channel and vehicle traffic along the I-95 corridor in the U.S. Northeast.

Authorities have opened four temporary channels since the crash, allowing 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 was necessary to next allow salvage crews to haul away the twisted metal wreckage using cranes and barges, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

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

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