Salvage Firm Heads to Baltimore Bridge to Begin Recovery Effort

image is BloomburgMedia_SB0T3KT1UM0W00_28-03-2024_06-13-07_638471808000000000.png

A salvage firm that helped contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and safely blow up part of New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge is now heading to Baltimore as recovery efforts start after a disastrous bridge collapse. 

Resolve Marine has already begun mobilizing resources to re-float and remove the ship that smashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge, US Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier said Wednesday. The accident this week destroyed the span, killed six people and shut down Baltimore’s port.  

The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge.Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

As the recovery process begins, details are emerging about the scale of the challenge ahead for Baltimore. Federal officials told Maryland lawmakers that replacing the bridge would cost at least $2 billion including cleanup, said a person familiar with the matter. But much remains unknown, such as how long it will take to reopen one of the busiest trade hubs on the US East Coast.  

“This isn’t going to happen overnight,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This isn’t going to be cheap either.”

Resolve Marine, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has experience with bulk: In addition to its demolition work on the Tappan Zee, it also served as a contractor in removing the New York bridge’s span structure. 

The Singapore-flagged Dali, a 984-foot (300-meter) container ship, slammed into the Baltimore bridge and brought down the entire structure within seconds on March 26. The vessel couldn’t maintain its desired heading after experiencing a loss of propulsion, but the reason for the failure is unclear. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. 

“Consistent with the president’s direction to get the port up and running as soon as possible, the Coast Guard’s highest priority now is restoring the waterway for shipping, stabilizing the motor vessel Dali and removing it,” Gautier said at a White House press conference.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says funding the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is not a political issue and shouldn’t be delayed.Source: Bloomberg


Six construction workers who were on the bridge at the time of the collision are presumed dead after a search-and-rescue effort. The Washington Post described them as fathers and husbands from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. 

The Baltimore Banner reported that the bodies of two men had been recovered, citing people with knowledge of the operation. The bodies were found inside a vehicle and brought to shore, the news website said. 

Ship Cargo

The Dali is carrying about 4,700 cargo containers, including 56 that contain hazardous materials, Gautier said. 

Before the accident, the ship had offloaded furniture, appliances, plasticware, construction machinery and a range of other goods in Baltimore. The ship was carrying containers from various countries, including China, Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam. It was headed for Sri Lanka when it hit the 1.6-mile (2.6-kilometer) bridge.  

Insurers face claims of as much as $3 billion, with firms on the Lloyd’s of London market most exposed, Barclays Plc analysts said in a report.

The Coast Guard is working with the Army Corps of Engineers, which is leading the salvage effort, and both have moved “aggressively” to board the vessel and ensure it remains stable since it holds more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel and lube oil on board, Gautier said. A portion of the bridge remains on the bow of the ship, which is sitting at the bottom of the channel but doesn’t appear to have any flooding, he said. 


It’s too soon to set out a timeline for the port’s reopening, Buttigieg said, but outside estimates range from a couple weeks to more than a month. The closure is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers, while a dozen large ships are stuck inside Baltimore’s harbor and trade is being rerouted to other ports.  

Buttigieg also said it’s too soon to know the total price tag of rebuilding the bridge. He said that rebuilding a Minnesota bridge that collapsed in 2007 cost around $260 million, but warned the Key Bridge reconstruction would likely be pricier. 

“This is a larger span of a bridge, likely in many ways a more complex project,” he told Bloomberg TV. “We just don’t know the full scope yet.”

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Nacha Cattan


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the best of Energy Connects directly to your inbox each week.

By subscribing, you agree to the processing of your personal data by dmg events as described in the Privacy Policy.

Back To Top