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Limited access channel to move cargo traffic at Port of Baltimore to be ready by end of April

White House says limited access channel expected to resume cargo traffic at Port of Baltimore
White House says limited access channel expected to resume cargo traffic at Port of Baltimore 00:35

BALTIMORE -- A limited access channel to get cargo traffic back in motion at the Port of Baltimore should be complete by the end of April, according to the White House.

A temporary channel northeast of the main shipping lanes opened Friday night but that will only restore about 15% of the pre-collapse commercial activity to the port.

Senior officials from the White House, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Transportation and Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works met with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul Wiedefeld to discuss progress and continued collaboration in response to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

"Participants emphasized the need for a smooth return of cargo traffic to the port as the channel is reopened and went over the standard operating procedures for reopening maritime traffic after incidents," the White House said in a statement.

The leaders planned efforts to support impacted workers, including the launch of the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program and the PORT Act, the White House said. 

Also discussed were efforts at the state and federal level to ensure a rapid rebuild of the bridge, and support for the families of workers who died from the bridge collapse. 

"The White House will continue to work in lockstep with state and federal partners to minimize the impacts of the devastating collapse and to support affected communities," the White House said.

'Port is more than just history'  

Gov. Moore and other leaders stood their ground that the bridge will be rebuilt, calling it a necessity.

"For Baltimore and our region, the port is more than just history. It is a major economic bet that we're leaning into for our future and we need to rebuild the Key Bridge to deliver the economic development opportunity for America," Mark Anthony Thomas, CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said.

Stuck in the Port of Baltimore

Gov. Moore said they've been in consistent communication with the crews on the Dali and other cargo ships still stuck in the Port of Baltimore, adding they're in good health and condition.

How much has been removed?

Over 1,300 tons of steel of what was once the Key Bridge have been removed from the Patapsco River.

Also, 120 containers have been taken off of the cargo ship Dali. The goal's been to get 140 removed, which is critical to start the process of getting it out of the river.

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