Key and Bay bridges will close briefly Saturday as cranes pass under

Published 3/15/2023 8:51 p.m. EDT, Updated 3/16/2023 10:20 a.m. EDT

Shipping containers are stacked together at the Port of Baltimore, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Baltimore. Six months into the war in Ukraine, American companies — including federal contractors — continue to buy everything from birch wood flooring to weapons-grade titanium from major Russian corporations.

Three cranes originally scheduled to be removed from the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal Thursday will now begin their journey to a new home on Saturday morning, the Maryland Transportation Authority said.

The three cranes have been at the Seagirt Marine Terminal since its opening. To avoid distracting drivers on the Francis Scott Key and Chesapeake Bay bridges, state officials will temporarily halt traffic as the large machines are carried under them.

The Post Panamax-style container cranes, which have been at the terminal since 1990, will be carried out on the Chesapeake Bay by a large vessel and head to their eventual destination at Ports America terminal at the Port of Tampa, according to officials.

As a result, the Maryland Transportation Authority will temporarily stop traffic in both directions on the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) around 9:30 a.m. and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (US 50/301) at 1:30 p.m.

An agency spokesperson said the traffic holds are necessary to ”ensure drivers are not distracted as the cranes pass beneath the bridges.”

Traffic will be stopped at each bridge for about 15 to 30 minutes.

Motor vehicles were halted on the bridges for the same reason in September 2021, as four fully electric ultra-large, Neo-Panamax cranes — each measuring 450 feet in height — completed their trip from Shanghai to the port.

In 2022, the port handled a record $74.3 billion worth of cargo, officials said.

The new cranes, with no diesel emissions, are part of a $166 million investment in the Seagirt Marine Terminal by Ports America Chesapeake. Also included are 15 hybrid-electric rubber-tired gantry cranes, a new truck gate complex and software upgrades that improve efficiency for truckers.

Sign Up for Alerts
Get notified of need-to-know
info from The Banner