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Teams of engineers are working on cutting and lifting the first section of twisted steel from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which crumpled into the Patapsco River after a cargo ship crashed into one of its supports. Crews are measuring and cutting the steel from the broken bridge before attaching straps to lift it onto a barge and float it away. Various cranes, tugboats, barges, and salvage vessels are on site in the water southeast of Baltimore to assist in the complex process, which will ultimately determine how long it will take to remove all the debris and reopen the ship channel and the blocked Port of Baltimore.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore emphasized the importance of the work being done on the collapsed bridge, recognizing it as a complicated process that requires careful planning and execution. Residents, like longtime Baltimore resident Randy Lichtenberg, are observing the work and reflecting on the shock of witnessing an iconic part of the Baltimore skyline fall into the water. The community is united in their support for the crews working to restore the damaged bridge and reopen the waterway, which serves as a crucial transportation route for the region.

Authorities are focused on opening a smaller auxiliary ship channel to allow for the movement of smaller vessels. The priority is on stabilizing the site so divers can resume their search for four missing workers presumed dead. The crew of the cargo ship involved in the collision and collapse is safe and remains on board as the debris is cleared around the vessel. Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the accident and preventive measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Concerns about pollution from the crash have been addressed, with officials noting no active releases of hazardous materials in the water. The focus is now on rebuilding the bridge and managing the economic impact of the closed port and severed highway link. The Maryland Port Administration is ensuring that trucking operations at marine terminals are still functional, despite the suspension of ship traffic at the Port of Baltimore. Plans are underway to rebuild the bridge with federal funding approved by President Joe Biden’s administration.

The collaboration between federal and state agencies, as well as private companies involved in the salvage operation, highlights the importance of community support and teamwork in responding to such catastrophic events. The restoration efforts require careful coordination and expertise from various entities to ensure the safe removal of debris and the eventual reopening of the port and highway link. The resilience and determination of the crews working on the ground reflect the spirit of Baltimore residents who are committed to rebuilding their city’s infrastructure and overcoming challenges in the aftermath of the bridge collapse.

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