(Bloomberg) --

The container carrier that demolished Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge nearly eight weeks ago was refloated early Monday and towed to the city’s port, clearing a major hurdle in efforts to reopen a trade gateway key for international shipments of coal and cars.

According to a statement from the Coast Guard-led Unified Command that’s handling the cleanup, five tugboats began moving the vessel at about 7 a.m. local time. Ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg showed the Dali was parked two hours later at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The freeing of the ship marks a major milestone in the effort by federal, state and local officials to clear the channel of debris so that commercial traffic can access the port normally again. A week ago, salvage teams detonated explosives to help break up steel bridge supports that were still leaning on the ship.

Salvage managers expect the channel will soon be 400 feet (122 meters) wide with a depth of 50 feet, which should allow most big vessels to transit to and from the port. Efforts will continue until the original width of 700 feet is restored, the Unified Command said.

(Updates with arrival at port.)

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