Report on cruise industry in Tampa points to limitations of Skyw - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Report on cruise industry in Tampa points to limitations of Skyway Bridge

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  • Report on cruise industry in Tampa points to limitations of Skyway BridgeMore>>

  • Report expected about Skyway bridge cruise ship dilemma

    Report expected about Skyway bridge cruise ship dilemma

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 10:41 AM EDT2014-07-08 14:41:27 GMT
    Cruise ships barely fit under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge now and cruise lines keep ordering bigger, taller ships.
    Cruise ships barely fit under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge now and cruise lines keep ordering bigger, taller ships.
  • Larger cruise ships pose problem for Tampa Port

    Larger cruise ships pose problem for Tampa Port

    Sunday, July 6 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-07-06 12:47:27 GMT
    Some of the new larger cruise ships have a difficult time passing under the Skyway Bridge.Some of the new larger cruise ships have a difficult time passing under the Skyway Bridge.
    The Florida Department of Transportation is studying whether Port Tampa Bay's cruise ship business could go from thriving to shriveling without a plan to get the newest and largest of these floating cities past the height limitations of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
    The Florida Department of Transportation is studying whether Port Tampa Bay's cruise ship business could go from thriving to shriveling without a plan to get the newest and largest of these floating cities past the height limitations of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on Tuesday released the Tampa Bay Cruise Pre-Feasibility Study. The study was commissioned to determine how the region can both maintain its current cruise business while at the same time allow for significant growth from the new "mega" cruise ship market, and to identify potential courses of action.

This pre-feasibility report is the culmination of an exhaustive research effort that included cruise industry and stakeholder interviews, shipbuilding orders and trends, cruise industry marketing, passenger trends and demographics, stakeholder review, feedback and validation.

The port is home to five vessels, bringing in 854,000 passengers in 2013.

However as the cruise industry continues to launch larger and larger ships, the entrance into the port of Tampa is not growing.

The limiting factor is the height of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

The Florida Department of Transportation has a Pre-Feasibility study pointing out three available options to deal with the height restrictions of the Skyway.

The first option is to do nothing and only receive vessels that fit under the bridge.

The second option would involve the construction of en entirely new port facility on the seaward side of the bridge.

The final option presented is to replace the Skyway Bridge.

FDOT says its important to note they are not recommending any of the options over the other.

The study claims that without the height restraints of the bridge, the cruise industry could grow to more than 2.5 million passengers a year.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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  • Web Poll

  • Which is the best way for taxpayer dollars to be spent to make port entryways more accessible to cruise ships?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Build a new bridge to replace the Sunshine Skyway
    8%
    7 votes
    Raise the Sunshine Skyway bridge
    10%
    10 votes
    Build a new port outside path of Sunshine Skyway
    82%
    80 votes
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  • Web Poll

  • What's your favorite type of vacation?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Amusement park
    20%
    114 votes
    Beach
    34%
    192 votes
    Camping
    12%
    67 votes
    Cruise
    27%
    155 votes
    Couch
    7%
    39 votes
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