Temporary Channel Opens for Boosting Baltimore Traffic

The Captain of the Port of Baltimore has announced the opening of the Fort Carroll Temporary Alternate Channel, a new route designed to increase commercial vessel traffic through the port following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Key Points for Businesses and Shippers:

  • Increased Capacity: While temporary, the Fort Carroll Channel provides a lifeline, offering limited access for critical commercial vessels. This is estimated to recover approximately 15% of pre-collapse commercial activity.
  • Channel Specs: The channel boasts a depth of 20 feet (6 meters), a horizontal clearance of 300 feet (90 meters), and a vertical clearance of 135 feet (41 meters).
  • Phased Approach: This is a temporary solution paving the way for a full reopening of the main channel.
  • Safety First: The existing 1,830-meter safety zone around the bridge remains strictly enforced. Vessels and personnel must obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port (COTP) to enter this zone.

Source: Keybridgeresponse2024

Quotes for Impact:

  • “This additional channel expands the types of commercial vessels able to navigate the port,” said Captain David O’Connell, US Coast Guard Captain of the Port and Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Key Bridge Response 2024 effort. “We anticipate facilitating roughly 15% of pre-collapse commercial activity.”
  • “The Key Bridge Response Unified Command is working diligently to restore full access to the Fort McHenry channel,” Captain O’Connell added. “The opening of this third channel signifies continued progress toward that goal.”


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