Salvage crews to lift first piece of collapsed Baltimore bridge


“This is a remarkably complex operation,” Moore said of the effort to clear bridge debris and open the Port of Baltimore to shipping traffic.

The bodies of two workers who were repairing the bridge deck at the time of the disaster have been recovered, but Moore said efforts to recover four others presumed dead remain suspended because conditions are too dangerous for divers to work amid too much debris.

Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath told reporters that teams from the Coast Guard, the US Navy’s salvage arm and the US Army Corps of Engineers said the debris from the Patapsco River’s deep-draft shipping channel would have to be removed before the Dali could be moved.

Saturday’s operation involves cutting a piece just north of that channel and lifting it with a 160-ton marine crane onto a barge. A larger, 1,000-ton crane also is at the bridge site.

The piece will be brought to Tradepoint Atlantic, the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Mill which is being developed into a distribution center for companies including Amazon.com, Home Depot and Volkswagen. The facility’s port, which sits on the Chesapeake Bay side of the collapsed bridge, is fully operational.

Five days after the tragedy, the jobs of some 15,000 people whose work revolves around daily port operation are on hold. While logistics experts say that other East Coast ports should be able to handle container traffic, Baltimore is the largest US port for “roll-on, roll-off” vehicle imports and exports of farm and construction equipment.



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