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O'Malley, Mayor Dedicate Large Cranes At Port

By Robert Lang - Governor Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake dedicated four new 40-story cranes that will help the Port handle over-sized container ships when the Panama Canal expands in 2015.


The Panamax cranes were installed last fall, and have been operating at the Seagirt Marine Terminal since January.


The cranes were installed as part of a $105-million expansion of the Port of Baltimore.


With the cranes Baltimore joins Norfolk as the only two East Coast ports that can handle the super sized ships.


Norfolk is the only other port on the East Coast that has these cranes.


Maryland Port Administrator James White says the new cranes will enable the port to handle various consumer goods that will go to retailers in the eastern third of the country.


He says the port will be able to add 5,700 jobs in the next few years.


Former Congresswoman Helen Bentley, for whom the Port of Baltimore is named, says the cranes culminate 30 years of improvements that began with dredging around the port to create a 50-foot shipping channel.


A number of longshoremen attending the dedication ceremony said the expansion will help guarantee jobs at the port for years to come. (wbal.com)