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New 45-foot deep channel for commercial vessels is open limited hours at Baltimore's Key Bridge collapse site

NTSB issues preliminary report on crash into Key Bridge
NTSB issues preliminary report on crash into Key Bridge 01:02

BALTIMORE - More progress was made Tuesday night at the site of the Key Bridge collapse. A 45-foot deep limited access channel opened for commercial vessel traffic.

It's the deepest channel to open through the Patapsco River since the May 26 accident. The move comes seven weeks after the Francis Key Bridge was struck by the Dali, a 947-foot container ship.

Six construction workers, who were fixing potholes on the bridge, were killed.

The Fort McHenry Limited Access Channel will be open for commercial vessels daily from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

About the new Patapsco River channel

The channel has a 350-foot horizontal clearance and a vertical clearance of 214 feet because of powerlines.

Officials say the available depth may increase as salvage operations continue.

In order to use the new channel, deep draft vessels must have a Maryland pilot and a two-tug escort. The ships that pass must not exceed 5 knots while the Dali remains at the collapse site, and 10 knots once the ship is refloated.

Three other temporary channels remain open at depths of 20, 14 and 11 feet for vessels that do not require the deeper channel.

The 11-foot deep Sollars Point Temporary Alternate Channel is available for recreational vessels on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

When the Dali is refloated, all traffic through all of the current channels will be suspended until the vessel is safely moved. 

4,000-ton piece of the Key Bridge  was removed from the Dali Monday night in preparation for refloating the ship.

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