Access for large vessels into Baltimore Harbour is improving as salvage operations continue.

The Coast Guard is now allowing nighttime passage through the former Francis Scott Key Bridge area from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time daily.

Coal activities at CSX's Curtis Bay Piers and CONSOL's Marine Terminal are expected to ramp up quickly, ahead of the end-of-month timeline that was announced previously.

The two vessels that were stranded at the piers have now sailed.

Curtis Bay is currently loading the Leo Iris, a 60,000 t vessel with the TAI Knight in the queue in Chesapeake Bay, according to shipping agency reports.

CONSOL is expecting the arrival of the Star Eva this Saturday, according to the lineup data.

Aggressive loading schedules for both ports follow, including five vessels at Curtis Bay and eight vessels at CONSOL, all planned to load and set sail before the end of May.

The shipping companies all caution that these schedules are subject to change given the unknowns in the salvage operations.

The passage, known as the Fort McHenry Limited Access Channel, allows for vessels up to a 48-foot draft. The channel width is 350 feet. Vessel width (beam) is restricted to 106 feet or less.

The Coast Guard said the allowable draft will increase "based on future survey analysis as salvage operations continue." There are other restrictions including tug requirements and weather (wind) conditions at the time of sailing.

On Monday, the portion of the Key Bridge that was resting on the bow of the M/V Dali was successfully cut away using precision explosives. The Dali is expected to be refloated and moved away from the bridge site this week.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-15-24 1305ET