October 14th, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Transportation, Environment, Politics

Cargo Ship Strikes Florida Bridge With Clearance Higher than the Columbia River Crossing

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A major Jacksonville, Fla., bridge has been closed to traffic for more than three weeks after officials there say it took "a significant hit" from a cargo ship being towed below it.

The boat hit the Mathews Bridge on Sept. 26, closing the bridge to the estimated 56,000 vehicles that use it daily, the Florida Times-Union reports.

The bridge's clearance? 150 feet. That's well higher the planned 116-foot-tall twin Interstate 5 bridges over the Columbia River Crossing plans.

The military cargo ship that hit the bridge is 754 feet long, with a beam width of 106 feet, the Times-Union says

Florida news reports show that the underside support beams of the Mathews bridge were sheared off.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which only allows bridges that won't impede river traffic to be built, signed off on the height of the CRC, despite three current manufacturers saying the bridges would be too low for their needs.

Project officials bought them off with more than $85 million in promises, although, as The Oregonian reported, at least one company feels they were low balled and have filed suit against the state.


 
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