Baltimore port authorities announced Monday, April 1, that they were working to create a temporary shipping corridor by clearing part of the rubble from the bridge which collapsed after being hit by a container ship.

In a press release, the various national authorities, the State of Maryland and the city of Baltimore, specified that this first corridor would constitute the first step towards a gradual resumption of maritime traffic in the port of the northeast of the United States. United, one of the main ones in the country.

This corridor will, however, initially not be wide enough to allow the passage of large ships and will therefore initially be reserved for those considered essential, such as rescue boats, Carmen told Agence France-Presse. Caver, Coast Guard spokesperson. The channel should be open “today, with no specific time yet,” added his colleague, Kimberly Reaves. A second navigation corridor is being opened, but no information has been given on the date of its opening to navigation, she added.

Start of clearing operations

The announcement followed the launch, on Sunday, of the clearance of elements of the bridge, a complex operation which required the cutting and moving of a first section, weighing “around 200 tonnes”.

On the night of Monday March 25 to Tuesday March 26, a container ship ran into the Francis-Scott-Key Bridge in Baltimore (Maryland), on the American east coast, causing it to collapse. The boat is now stuck in place, part of the bridge has collapsed on the container ship. It thus blocks maritime transport from one of the busiest ports in the country. Clearing the bridge and freeing the container ship is a priority for local authorities, aware of the economic impact of blocking the port of Baltimore.

“At least 8,000 dock workers have jobs that have been directly affected,” said Maryland Governor Wes Moore.

The six workers who were working to repair the road on the bridge at the time of the accident are considered dead. The bodies of two of them were found. Operations to find the other remains were interrupted, the work of divers on the scene was judged by the authorities as currently too dangerous, because of “the weather and the quantity of debris present in the water”, explained Sunday the governor.