After the COVID pandemic, we all had the heebie-jeebies about global supply chains. The threat of shutting them down again — or even crimping them with the deadly collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26 — was enough to induce a feeling of dread.

You would have been forgiven for thinking, here we go again.

“There is no question that this will be a major and protracted impact to supply chains,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the next day at a briefing within sight of the wrecked container ship Dali, enmeshed in twisted steel.

The collapse of the 47-year-old bridge over the Patapsco River was also a tragedy. Six bridge workers died, and thousands were tossed out of work at the Port of Baltimore as millions of dollars in economic activity in Maryland paused. Commuters and truck drivers lost a major connection.

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Yet for once in what sometimes feels like our miserable, national march toward oblivion, the worst didn’t happen.

The supply chain pivoted. Farmers in Ohio and brickmakers in India did just fine. Help centers set up quickly to assist small businesses wrote $21 million in loans. Aid programs were established to keep workers from having to find new jobs.

The clear reason — America can do this. If all goes as planned, the 700-foot shipping channel into the port, 50 feet deep, will be certified free of dangerous debris and reopened by Monday.

Maryland is ready to rebuild, it turns out. Here’s a look at how we got here.

How do you clean up the biggest mess in Maryland history?

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As my colleagues Hugo Kuglya and Kaitlin Newman found out after a trip to the wreckage, it’s hard, dangerous work.

Six days after the collapse, the Army Corps of Engineers began attacking the wreckage. It chewed out a temporary channel, eventually one of four.

“I’m thankful that only a week after the collapse, we have pathways and channels so commercial traffic can now move through,” Gov. Wes Moore said when the first channel opened. “But I want to be clear: We are still a long way from being able to get the size and the cadence of the commercial traffic back to where it was before the collapse.”

The Banner journalists’ trip to the wreckage site in mid-April found a floating town — 80 boats, barges and 22 cranes gathered around the Dali, which was stacked sky-high with cargo containers. A total of 324 people were working at the bridge site and at Unified Command, the name given to the consolidated leadership of all the agencies with jurisdiction at the bridge.

They have been led by Col. Estee Pinchasin, commander of the Baltimore District of the Corps, overseeing the effort to open the port.

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“It’s our port, our city, our channel, our community, and when I say our, I mean everybody,” she said.

In some ways, the reopening of the 700-foot-wide channel by Monday is something of an anticlimax in the story of the Key Bridge collapse.

The Port of Baltimore has been able to accommodate its normal marine traffic since a 400-wide section of the federal channel reopened on May 20.

The Corps may open the channel, but the Coast Guard will determine how much can pass through.

Life is moving toward normal again. Maryland Fleet Week returns Wednesday, highlighting Navy ships, the Coast Guard and, fittingly this year, the Army Corps of Engineers.

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No matter the symbolism of this moment, there remains so much more to do.

President Joe Biden may have promised full federal support for reconstruction, but Congress must provide the money. And in a highly partisan age, congressional Republicans seem fully capable of ignoring the needs of a deep-blue state when they control one chamber of Congress. What happens remains to be seen.

Maryland’s congressional delegation introduced legislation to fund the project, and the state’s lone Republican in Congress, Andy Harris, signed on. It would waive the 10% state contribution normally required on transportation projects. Yet the Baltimore Bridge Relief Act has yet to get a hearing.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin on Wednesday urged his colleagues at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to fund the project, and cited the previous example of a bridge collapse on Interstate 35.

“We’re on day 72,” he said. “It took only a matter of days after the Minnesota bridge collapse for Congress to act and make clear that they would be there with 100% federal funds.”

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Maryland isn’t waiting.

On the last day of May, my colleague Danny Zawodny reported on the Maryland Transportation Authority’s request for proposals for a single company to design and build a new bridge. It is projected to cost nearly $2 billion and take until 2028 to complete.

It’s the start of the fourth and final phase of recovery laid out by Moore shortly after the Key Bridge fell.

Maryland has reached the end of the beginning.

We have shown that we can clear the disaster from the water. Now we must determine just how good we are at building the future over it.