Baltimore channel fully reopened for transit over 2 months after Key Bridge collapse

The M/V Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge and caused it to collapse into the Fort McHenry Federal Channel. On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the channel fully reopened.


The Fort McHenry Federal Channel was restored to its original operational depth nearly three months after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

of 700 feet wide and 50 feet deep after 50,000 tons of bridge wreckage was removed from the Patapsco River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced Monday evening.

“We are proud of the unified efforts that fully reopened the Federal Channel to port operations,” Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, commanding general of USACE, said in a statement. “The partnerships that endured through this response made this pivotal mission successful.”

Unified Command’s ongoing salvage work in the Fort McHenry Federal Channel nears its conclusion, as shown in these aerial photos taken Friday afternoon, June 7, 2024.

The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command has worked to remove the destroyed Baltimore Bridge since the collapse occurred on March 26, when it was hit by the M/V Dali, killing six construction workers.

“Although the overarching goal to restore full operational capacity to the Federal Channel was successful, each day, we thought of those who lost their lives, their families, and the workers impacted by this tragic event,” Col. Estee Pinchasin, Baltimore District commander, said. “Not a day went by that we didn’t think about all of them, and that kept us going.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a part of the Unified Command, and the U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving worked to clear the wreckage from the Federal Channel and move the M/V Dali since the collapse occurred. On Monday, the Unified Command certified that its riverbed was safe for transit, states the press release.

"Surveying and removal of steel at and below the 50-foot mud-line will continue to ensure future dredging operations are not impacted," said the statement.

A U.S. Coast Guard boat approaches clean-up operations at the Francis Scott Key Bridge as the main shipping channel prepares to fully reopen, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., June 10, 2024.

What happened to the Francis Scott Key Bridge?

On March 26, early in the morning, the M/V Dali struck the bridge, which left it in ruins. captured the container ship hitting the Key Bridge after appearing to lose power two times.

The incident killed six construction workers who were on the bridge fixing potholes.

On May 7, more than a month after the collapse, the final victim was recovered from the river according to police.

What happened to the M/V Dali?

USACE moved the 984-foot container ship that struck the bridge from its original location, where it remained for nearly two months, to a local marina.

Men fish at Fort Armistead Park while clean-up operations continue around the Francis Scott Key Bridge as the main shipping channel prepares to fully reopen, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., June 10, 2024.

Who is part of the Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command?

According to its website, the following agencies make up the Unified Command:

  • Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Maryland State Police
  • Maryland Transportation Authority
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Witt O’Brien’s representing Synergy Marine

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