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Nearly month after Key Bridge collapse, recreational boats can use temporary channel on Sunday

Baltimore Sun staff, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE — Recreational boats will again be allowed to pass the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, this time on Sunday, marking the second opportunity for boaters since the bridge fell three weeks ago.

The Coast Guard said recreational vessels will be able to use the Sollers Point Alternate Channel again, but this time officials will accommodate one-way traffic both into and out of the harbor during two separate 45-minute periods in the morning and two in the evening.

A first round of boats were allowed to use the alternate channel on Tuesday during two hourlong stretches, one in the morning and one in the evening. More than 35 recreational vessels like sailboats and yachts took advantage of the chance to relocate their boats into and out of Baltimore’s harbor, whether bringing in vessels for the summer season or departing for another destination.

On Sunday, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m., recreational boats can use the Sollers Point temporary channel to depart the harbor. From 7:15 a.m. to 8 a.m., recreational vessels will be allowed to flow into the harbor, according to a notice from the Coast Guard.

In the evening, outbound vessels will be allowed to transit from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., and inbound boats will transit from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Until this week, traffic around the Key Bridge had been closed to recreational boats, with alternate channels reserved for commercially essential vessels that are helping to clear the wreckage.

 

The 1.6-mile bridge fell into the Patapsco River on March 26 after it was struck by a container ship. Six construction workers died in the collapse, which has also hampered traffic to and from the Port of Baltimore. The Army Corps of Engineers hopes to restore access to the port by the end of May.

Port officials opened a third temporary shipping channel on the northeast side of the fallen Francis Scott Key Bridge on Friday.

The final of three alternative paths for boats around the wreckage of the bridge has a depth of about 20 feet and will allow “limited access for commercially essential vessels,” according to a Key Bridge Unified Command news release. The newest channel has a 300-foot horizontal clearance and a 135-foot vertical clearance.

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