The Captain of the Baltimore Port established a fourth channel, the Fort McHenry limited access channel, which will run the length of the northeast side of the federal channel, and provide additional access to commercially essential traffic.

The limited access deep draft channel has a controlling depth of 35 feet, a 300-foot horizontal clearance and a vertical clearance of 214 feet, and will facilitate some larger deep draft vessels, large marine tugs, and MARAD vessels through the Port of Baltimore. Infographic Credit: Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command.

Vehicle carrier Carmen moved through the temporary channel on the Patapsco River, established by the Key Bridge Unified Command on April 25, 2024.

Starting Monday, April 29, operations to remove M/V DALI will require suspension of transits through the Fort McHenry limited access channel. Once deemed safe, the channel will reopen for commercial traffic, the update added.

"We're working to strike a balance between enabling temporary access to support commercial activity and undertaking necessary measures to fully reopen the Fort McHenry Channel," says U.S. Coast Guard Capt. David O'Connell, Captain of the Port and Federal On-Scene Coordinator, Key Bridge Response 2024. "This limited access deep draft channel will provide a window for five of the deep draft vessels currently unable to depart the port as well as some smaller deep draft vessels to transit. Meanwhile, the Unified Command personnel continue to work full speed ahead to safely and efficiently finish operations."

The current 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect and is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative, the update added.

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