Plans moving slowly to accommodate Key West-to-Cuba ferry
BY ANTHONY CAVE
email@example.com November 7, 2015
The future of possible ferry service to and from Key West to Cuba lies
in the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
City Port and Marina Services Director Doug Bradshaw briefed the Key
West City Commission Wednesday on the latest plans.
The city approved a $19,850 task order in July with K2M Design for a
“concept design” to renovate the existing ferry terminal on Grinnell
Street into a terminal that could accommodate travel to and from Cuba.
“More than likely, based on my experience in the past, they’ve got to
hold to [Customs’] guidelines pretty good. I don’t think there will be
much variation,” Bradshaw said.
The terminal serves a Key West-to-Fort Myers and Marco Island route and
the Dry Tortugas National Park ferry. K2M wrote in a Sept. 11 letter to
the city that it anticipates a Cuba ferry passenger count of about 250
“A sharing opportunity here will significantly reduce the required floor
area of the terminal and is a key consideration in developing a concept
plan that creates an International Ferry Terminal and allows the
existing ferry services to the Dry Tortugas and mainland,” K2M Florida
Keys Operations Manager Anthony Sarno wrote.
Customs requirements include a gangway, processing area, forms counters,
an X-ray machine and a secondary processing area.
Bradshaw said he does not believe K2M has had a face-to-face
conversation with Customs over the terminal as yet. Sarno was out of the
office Friday and could not be reached for comment.
“We’re just seeing what we have and where we can take it based on the
requirements,” Bradshaw said Friday.
The focus on ferry travel comes on the heels of the U.S. and Cuba
restoring diplomatic relations after a half century of animosity. Travel
restrictions have been lightened.
Ferry travel to Cuba closed in the late 1950s following a government
takeover by the Castro regime.
In May, the federal Office of Foreign Asset Control gave at least five
companies permission to launch ferries to Cuba. However, the Cuban
government needs to approve the ferries for dock access.
Source: Plans moving slowly to accommodate Key West-to-Cuba ferry | News
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