Temporary Channel to Partially Reopen Port of Baltimore

Crews are taking initial steps to reopen the port of Baltimore to commercial vessel traffic. A temporary alternate channel is being established on the northeast side of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. This alternate route will only be accessible to “commercially essential vessels.”

“This marks an important milestone towards fully reopening the port,” stated Capt. David O’Connell, Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Key Bridge Response 2024. “By creating this alternate channel, we can start supporting the flow of critical marine traffic into Baltimore.”

The temporary channel will be well-marked with lights to aid navigation. It will have a controlling depth of 11 feet, a 264-foot horizontal clearance, and a vertical clearance of 96 feet. However, the current 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge itself will remain in effect.

Officials hope this initial passage will help alleviate maritime transportation issues caused by the bridge incident. Further steps are still required before the port can restore full operations.