Ten weeks after the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, salvage crews successfully removed the final large steel truss segment blocking the 213-metre-wide Fort McHenry Federal Channel on June 3-4. The bridge collapsed on 26 March when container ship Dali allided with it after losing power.

On 26 March, the container ship Dali left the Port of Baltimore headed for Colombo. Shortly after departure, the ship lost propulsion and allided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which subsequently collapsed. The ship’s crew suffered no injuries, but eight road workers were working on the bridge when it collapsed. Two were rescued from the water, the bodies of the other six were recovered later, with the last found and recovered on 7 May.

Legal tactics have already been put into play with the owner and manager, Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine respectively, seeking to limit their liability. In response, the City of Baltimore has asked the court to not grant this limitation and claims the vessel left the port in an unseaworthy condition.

Also read: VIDEO: Container ship Dali refloated and towed to terminal

Removing the last bridge section

Using concrete breakers, underwater surveys, and oxyacetylene torches, the Unified Command salvage crews separated tonnes of concrete roadway, cable, and steel rebar from “Section 4C” while removing debris with clamshell dredges.

On May 20, Unified Command had cleared the Federal Channel to a width of about 122 metres (400 feet) and a depth of 15 metres (50 feet), allowing deep-draught commercial vessels to access the Port of Baltimore. Full restoration is projected by June 8-10.

Photo: Unified Command removes final large bridge segment, nears complete restoration of Baltimore’s federal channel (by Bobby Petty, Defense Visual Information Distribution Service).

Also read: VIDEO: Charges break up bridge sections on top of Dali