Scott M. Kozel
2003-12-01 00:32:53 UTC
Skyway Bridge doesn't have enough clearance. With 182 feet of vertical
navigational clearance, why can't the cruise ship lines design ships
that can fit under that very high clearance?
Posted on Wed, Oct. 08, 2003
Sunshine Skyway too small for cruise ship
TAMPA, Fla. - For once, the towering Sunshine Skyway Bridge is being
described as too small.
Carnival Cruise Lines learned this week that a 952-foot long,
3,700-passenger ship it was considering assigning to Tampa in 2005 is
too tall for the Sunshine Skyway by 30 to 50 feet, said Robert
Dickinson, Carnival's president and chief executive.
Other cruise lines soon will face a similar problem with the height of
new ships, he said.
"Very soon, Tampa will be relegated to a secondary or tertiary cruise
port as the cruise industry builds bigger and taller ships," Dickinson
George Williamson, chief executive officer of the Tampa Port Authority,
acknowledged the port is limited on which cruise ships can come to
Tampa. He said not much can be done about the height of the Skyway to
allow taller ships to fit under the bridge.
"Sure, we've got some issues, but we've always had these issues,"
Williamson said. "I want the Queen Mary to come in here, too, but it's
The 5 1/2-mile long Sunshine Skyway opened in 1987 to replace a span
whose midsection was demolished when a freighter struck the bridge in a
May 9, 1980, thunderstorm, killing 35 people. The Sunshine Skyway
offers a 1,200-wide passage for ships. Architects allowed 182.5 feet
between the water and the bottom of the bridge.
Dickinson said Carnival trimmed 5 feet off the mast of a ship in 1998 to
get it under the Skyway.
"In fairness, no one anticipated ships this large when the bridge was
built," Dickinson said.
Carnival, the busiest cruise line at the Port of Tampa, announced in May
it plans to berth a new ship in Tampa. The $375 million, 960- long
Miracle, with 1,062 rooms, will sail to the Caribbean in November 2004.
[end of article]
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
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