Bigger cruise ships could be trouble in Tampa Bay

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- 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 Tampa Tribune reports that a draft study examines four options: do nothing, replace the Skyway, build a cruise ship terminal near the Hillsborough-Pinellas county line in Tampa Bay to avoid the bridge, or build a drawbridge at one end of the Skyway with a new channel for the giant ships.

Officials say the decision will likely be based on return on investment.

Pinellas and Manatee counties are possible sites for a new port and cruise facility, at a cost of more than $600 million.




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