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Skyway tunnel pitched to port authority

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A supporter of expanding South Florida's cruise ship trade is suggesting building an underwater tunnel to replace part of the Skyway Bridge.

The idea was brought up during a Manatee Port Authority board meeting last week. A new bridge would be designed in a similar fashion as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Routing traffic from I-275 to an underwater tunnel would give shipping the unlimited space needed.

The current Skyway Bridge’s height limitations prevents the current generation of big cruise ships from using Port Manatee or the Port of Tampa.

Other ideas thrown around include tearing down the Skyway and building it taller.

The concept of a tunnel at the site was previously considered in 1981 before the current Skyway was built following the 1980 Skyway tragedy.

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