Updated Apr 5, 2024 - Business

U.S. Army Corps plans to reopen Port of Baltimore channel by end of May

A Wallenius Wilhelmsen ship in the Port of Baltimore as salvage workers dismantle the wreckage of the the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed into the Patapsco River after being struck by the Dali container vessel in Baltimore, Maryland, US, on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Salvage workers on Thursday dismantle the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed into the Patapsco River after being struck by the Dali container vessel in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Engineers are aiming to restore Port of Baltimore access to normal capacity by the end of May following the deadly Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse that forced the rerouting of container ships in the key shipping hub.

State of play: That's according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District statement Thursday night that noted first a "limited access channel 280 feet wide and 35 feet deep" to the port would open by the end of April ahead of reopening the permanent, 700-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep federal navigation channel.

  • "This channel would support one-way traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore for barge container service and some roll on/roll off vessels that move automobiles and farm equipment to and from the port," according to the statement on the first phase of the opening.

The big picture: Officials said six construction workers died when the bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River after a cargo ship struck the key piece of Maryland infrastructure on March 26.

What they're saying: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said in a Thursday night statement the Army Corps' tentative, "ambitious" timeline that's "dependent on a number of factors" was "critically important for those families that are still waiting to bring loved ones home and the thousands of Baltimoreans and Marylanders who rely on the Port."

More from Axios:

Go deeper