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Pieces of the Key Bridge piling up at Tradepoint Atlantic

The remnants of the Key Bridge are being pulled from the Patapsco River and taken by barge to nearby Tradepoint Atlantic.

Tradepoint officials say they’ve never been busier as they deal with that operation and the increased demand from shippers to use their facility.

Crews at Tradepoint are cutting up large, heavy pieces of the old bridge and putting them in piles. They eventually will be recycled, used again as steel.

Kerry Doyle, the managing director of Tradepoint Atlantic, said the salvage operation is the most important part of what’s happening at Tradepoint.

“The number one priority after the search and rescue concluded was to try to reopen the Port of Baltimore and to clear the channel,” Doyle said.

Officials estimate that will happen by the end of May.

Tradepoint, the global and logistics center in Sparrows Point is just south of where the bridge collapsed. It is the only part of the Port of Baltimore that remains fully open to shipping.

Doyle said they also are paving 40 acres where they can store more cargo brought in by ships that otherwise would have gone to the port.

“Most of our storage solutions are in place for our regularly scheduled vessels and our regularly scheduled customers,” Doye said. “Now we’re trying to in an expeditious manner put storage solutions in place for redirected cargo and redirected vessels.”

Doyle said new cars coming into Tradepoint then need to be trucked over to the port for finishing touches.

“To get things like rims and different parts and accessories put on them before going to the dealership networks,” Doyle said.

Doyle said over the next two weeks they are expecting nine ships that otherwise would have gone to the port.

On a driving tour of the site, Aaron Tomarchio, Tradepoint Atlantic’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs, pointed out The Donington, a vessel that carried automobiles. It was redirected from the port to Tradepoint.

“Over the last 14 days we’ve been able to double our capacity of handling autos, from 10,000 a month to 20,000 a month,” Tomarchio said.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Wes Moore thanked Tradepoint for “raising their hands.”

Moore said, “They (Tradepoint) have a channel with a controlling depth of over 35 feet and that has been instrumental in helping us find creative ways of keeping our commercial operations flowing.”

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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