Large Ships Call for Taller Bridges, Tight Squeezes

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 8
February 16, 2010

With the construction of bigger and bigger ships these days, a number of ports throughout the world are being forced to re-evaluate infrastructure to accommodate these ships of greater size.  However, sometimes it’s not the size of the ports facilities at all, but rather obstacles en route that are having a severe impact on a given ports growth.

One such obstacle that seems to be getting a lot of attention in the news lately is bridges, or more specifically, bridge height.  Here are just a few examples of some tight squeezes that, for most, are a little to close for comfort.  Be sure to share some of your least favorite bridges to be under in the comments.

Shown above, an APL container ship squeezes under the Bayonne Bridge which crosses the Kill Van Kull channel to container terminals in the Port Newark-Elizabeth complex in New Jersey and New York Container Terminal on Staten Island.  The Port Authority has identified the bridge as the number one issue effecting the port.  The Bayonne Bridge stands just 151 ft. above the water.

Below the container ship MSC Texas has just feet to spare as it crosses under the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach’s Back Channel.  Three tugboats are required to control the vessel while navigating through the channel, as well as three pilots on board monitoring the ship’s position.  The Gerald Desmond Bridge is approximately 155-feet above the water. (Photo via Los Angeles Times)

Below, four new super post-Panamax cranes are shown en route to the Port of Savannah aboard the Dockwise M/V Tern.  The U.S. Coast Guard reported just an 8′ gap while traveling under the Talmadge Bridge.

Top photo:  Royal Carribean’s Oasis of the Sea’s squeezes under the Great Belt Fixed Link Bridge in Denmark.  The 5,500 passenger cruise ship was forced to lower its smoke stacks in order to fit under. (Photo via AP)


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