The shipping channel in Baltimore, Maryland that was blocked by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge has been fully reopened after the recovery team cleared the area to a depth of 50ft. 

The Unified Command team made up of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the US Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving announced that it had completed a survey of the Federal Channel to certify that it was safe for transit again at its original operational dimensions of 700m wide and 50ft deep. 

Col. Estee Pinchasin, Baltimore District commander, said: “We’ve cleared the Fort McHenry Federal Channel for safe transit. USACE will maintain this critical waterway as we have for the last 107 years. 

“I cannot overstate how proud I am of our team. It was incredible seeing so many people from different parts of our government, from around our country and all over the world, come together in the Unified Command and accomplish so much in this amount of time.” 

The channel providing access to the Port of Baltimore had been blocked by wreckage from the bridge and the ship responsible for its collapse, the M/V Dali, since the tragic incident in March that killed six people who had been working on the bridge at the time of the accident. 

However, the command team had been able to open smaller channels through the wreckage as it was cleared before the removal of the vessel was carried out on 20 May. 

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Following the opening of the channel, the recovery team said it would continue to remove wreckage that lay beneath the 50ft mud-line to ensure anything remaining on the riverbed would not impact future dredging operations. 

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said: “This is government cooperation at its best – we can get big things done when we work together. 

“With the channel now fully open, we can get more Marylanders back to work at the Port of Baltimore, increase the flow of commerce through the city, and accelerate our economic recovery.”