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Third alternate channel to open near Key Bridge collapse site to allow larger ships to pass through

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BALTIMORE, MD—A new temporary alternate channel is set to open near the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, enabling commercial shipping to continue through the Port of Baltimore.

The new Fort Carroll Temporary Alternate Channel is part of a phased approach to opening the main channel, with the third channel to the east of the main channel, and the Key Bridge to the north.

The new channel is 20 feet deep, with a 300-foot horizontal clearance and 135 feet vertical clearance, allowing for larger ships to pass through. The channel will be marked with government-lighted aids to navigation, and will be available for transit at the discretion of the COTP.

The opening of the new channel is expected to increase the types of vessels able to transit inbound and outbound of the port of Baltimore by approximately 15 percent.

The current safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect, and no vessel or person is permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission.

“Everyday, members of the Key Bridge Response Unified Command are working tirelessly to complete the steps necessary to support full access to the Fort McHenry channel,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell, Captain of the Port and Federal On-Scene Coordinator, Key Bridge Response 2024. “The opening of this third channel represents continuous progress towards this overarching objective.”

Video of the work being performed can be viewed online here.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Photo: The Fort Carroll Temporary Alternate Channel, depicted in green, has a controlling depth of 20 feet, a 300-foot horizontal clearance, and a vertical clearance of 135 feet, and will facilitate additional commercially essential vessel traffic through the port of Baltimore. Infographic courtesy of Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command.

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