Maryland Gov Confirms 'Aggressive Timeline' For Full Reopening Of Baltimore Port

President Joe Biden during a visit to the site of the accident Friday said the port will be fully operational by the end of next month.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) on Sunday said the timeline provided by President Joe Biden for the resumption of normal operations at the Port of Baltimore by the end of May is “realistic” as works continue following the tragic accident that led to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge last month.

The bridge subsided after a massive container ship struck it, killing six construction workers who were making repairs on the road on March 26.

Biden during a visit to Baltimore Friday said the port will be fully operational by the end of next month.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Moore confirmed the timeline, saying the state would work hard to ensure the required works are completed by then, while also staying close to the families of those who were affected by the accident.

“We are going to do everything in our power to make sure we’re bringing closure and comfort to these families, to be able to reopen this channel, to be able to support our workers and support families who have been impacted by it and also begin the process of the rebuild of the bridge,” Moore said. “It is an aggressive timeline, but we are going to work around the clock to make sure that we hit this timeline.”

On Friday, Biden pledged that the federal government would cover the cost of the bridge’s repair, which could reportedly cost up to $1 billion, noting that he expected Congress to support the effort.

“I fully intend, as the governor knows, to have the federal government cover the cost of rebuilding this entire bridge — all of it, all of it — as we’ve done in other parts of the country in similar circumstances,” the president said. “I call on Congress to authorize this effort as soon as possible.”

Republicans, though, were quick to react, with the House Freedom Caucus releasing a list of demands for approving any potential package of support to fund the repairs.

Moore is expected to visit Capitol Hill this week to meet with lawmakers to discuss the issue.

The governor told CBS’s Margaret Brennan the accident has national implications, and he would want to see lawmakers across party lines supporting the repair work.

“The Port of Baltimore is the largest port in this country, for new cars, and for heavy trucks, and agricultural equipment and spices and sugars,” Moore said. “And so the ability for us to have a collective and a bipartisan response to its rebuild is imperative in this moment.”

Meanwhile, the owner of the ship that crashed into the bridge, Grace Ocean, in a court filing last week argued it should not be held liable for any damage caused by the accident.

“We were prepared for that to happen, there’s going to be an independent investigation that will take place,” Moore said. “And if they are deemed liable and responsible for what happened, then they need to be responsible for helping with that cleanup.”

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