On Tuesday, recreational vessels which have been trapped inside Baltimore’s harbor or prevented from entering it will be allowed to pass through one of the two temporary channels at the Key Bridge salvage site.

Transits will be permitted on one day only and time set aside for them will be brief: from 6:30-7:30 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. Additionally, the transits will be conducted in one direction at a time. The early-morning transit will be only for outbound vessels leaving Baltimore, and the late-day transit will be only for inbound vessels.

“It was always intended as a trial,” Petty Officer Michael Himes said Monday. “Tomorrow’s trial run will allow for our recovery branch to gather information on the feasibility of future openings.”

Both transits will be monitored by the Coast Guard, which will have escort vessels nearby to assist or direct traffic if needed.

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The designated temporary channel is located near Sollers Point on the north and east side of the main channel, which is still blocked by wreckage from the collapse of the Key Bridge and the freighter Dali. It will have a controlling depth of 11 feet.

Since the bridge collapsed March 26, only emergency vessels and a handful of commercial vessels have passed through what was one of the busiest waterways in the country.

Himes said while future openings are possible, there is no current plan for another passage for recreational vessels, describing the process of clearing the channel for vessel traffic as “highly dynamic and very complex.”

”We are aware of the hardships that everyone is going through,” he said.

On March 26, the Dali, a 984-foot-long ship loaded with about 2,700 containers, struck one of the main support piers of the bridge, which tumbled seconds later into the Patapsco River. Six construction workers repairing potholes were killed in the disaster.

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More than 80 vessels of all types have transited both temporary channels. The Army Corps of Engineers has laid out an ambitious timeline to have a third, deeper channel with a depth of 35 feet open into the port by the end of April to restore more commercial access, and to fully reopen the port by the end of May.

Correction: This story was updated to correct that recreational boats will have limited access to the temporary channel only on Tuesday. After initially reporting this information, the Coast Guard then said that daily access would continue indefinitely starting Tuesday. On Monday, they corrected their statement, saying again that it would be open one day only, as a trial run.

Hugo Kugiya is a reporter for the Express Desk and has formerly reported for the Associated Press, Newsday, and the Seattle Times.

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