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Maryland opens temporary channel at collapsed Baltimore bridge site

Maryland opens temporary channel at collapsed Baltimore bridge site

The U.S. state of Maryland has opened a temporary channel on the northeast side of the collapsed Baltimore bridge, allowing vessel traffic around the container ship stuck at the disaster site, Governor Wes Moore said on Monday.

"It will help us to get more vessels in the water around the site of the collapse," Moore told a news conference, though it was unclear if traffic was limited to recovery efforts.

Recovery teams were working on opening a second temporary channel, Moore said.

The Port of Baltimore's shipping channel has been blocked since a fully loaded container ship lost power and collided with a support column on the Francis Scott Key Bridge last Tuesday, killing six road workers and causing the bridge that forms part of a highway looping around Baltimore to fall into to the Patapsco River.

U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Baltimore on Friday and is expected to meet with state and local leaders including Moore as he tours the damage area, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said.

She noted the administration has already worked with local leaders to secure barges and a crane for the scene, along with an early influx of money.

"As the president said within hours of the collapse, this administration will be with the people of Baltimore every step of the way," Jean-Pierre said.

She added the administration is working with Congress to ensure that the federal government will pay to rebuild the bridge. — Reuters