Container ship Dali, trapped by the ruins of the Francis Key Scott Bridge collapse in Baltimore since 26 March, is expected to be moved this week, enabling the re-opening of the temporary alternate channel.

The 35-foot deep Fort McHenry LAC was opened late last week with most of the commercial vessels trapped in port able to depart under strict conditions. The deep draft bulkers Klara Oldendorff and JY River could not use the channel, however, the fourth temporary access to be opened by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

During the weekend the 32,948 GT, 2750 TEU MSC Passion III was able to berth and offload around 1000 containers but the TAC was closed again after its departure to allow the salvage focus to shift to the Maersk-chartered Dali. The bow of the ship is trapped in Patapsco River mud by the weight of the bridge section across its bow. Some 200 containers have been removed from the forepart of the ship by floating crane.

Complete removal of the bridge structure will involve an estimated 50,000 tonnes of steel, which is being taken ashore for recycling. As of Tuesday [30 April] only 3300 tonnes had reportedly been removed but the USACE remains confident normal port traffic can return full by the end of May.

Dalis salvage by Donjon and Resolve is expected to be completed by 10 May, when the Fort McHenry TAC will re-open at an increased depth of 45 feet.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to release its preliminary report into the early morning allision, which resulted in the death of six bridge workers, early next week.