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Port of Virginia ready to help after Baltimore bridge collapse

Port of Virginia shipping crates, crane, and water
Ryan Murphy
The Port of Virginia has offered to handle ship traffic being rerouted after the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore.

Read the original article on WHRO News' website.

The Port of Virginia said it’s ready to step in and take on extra ship traffic following a bridge collapse outside Baltimore Harbor in Maryland.

Dali, a Singapore-flagged container ship, hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge outside Baltimore early Tuesday morning, causing the bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River. The incident prompted the port to shut down all vessel traffic in and out of its facility.

Ships stuck outside the harbor will have to be rerouted, and it’s likely the Port of Virginia will accommodate some of them.

Port representative Joe Harris said in a statement that the Port is communicating with carriers who were due to stop in Baltimore, and that it’s offering to take on rerouted ships.

“We have ample capacity and a lot of experience in handling surges in volume. The port will do whatever is necessary to help out,” said Harris.

Virginia International Gateway, part of the Port of Virginia, doubled its container capacity in 2018, and the shipping channel here was recently approved for two-way traffic by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Once dredging is done, the Thimble Shoals Channel will be the deepest and widest on the East Coast.

The Dali’s last port of call before it headed to Baltimore was Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth. Harris said the ship departed last week “without incident.”

The cause of the collision hasn’t been officially announced, but early reports and a video say a power failure was involved.

MarineTraffic, which uses ship data to show positions, shows the vessel striking the bridge around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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