Sunshine Skyway Bridge Tampa Bay Florida

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Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning Tampa Bay, is the world’s longest bridge with a cable stayed main span.

Construction began in 1982 after an ocean freighter struck the old bridge during a severe storm. The south bound lanes collapsed into the bay killing 35 people.

The people  killed in the collapse included a Greyhound bus of college students and people headed for work.

The pilot was cleared of any wrong doing due to the fact a storm had blown in with blinding rain, the freighter was blown off course and there was nothing the pilot could do. The bridge had several “close” calls preceding this and as a result, protective barriers protect the new bridge so there can be no repeat of the tragedy.

Upon completion  in 1987  the bridge is now  5.5 miles long and has a vertical clearance of 193 feet, enabling most freighters and cruise ships to pass under it’s span.

The bridge  cost $244 million to build and connects St. Petersburg, Florida with Manatee county, it being part of the I-275 freeway is an important part of the local transportation network.

The bridge is considered to be one of the top ten bridges in the world and the flagship bridge for the State of Florida.

The remaining sections of the center span of the old bridge were torn down and removed, both ends of the bridge were preserved and now serve as a rest park and fishing pier,enabling fishermen and sightseers to enjoy many content filled hours on the  longest fishing pier in the world.

Rand McNally Travel Store

Extended Stay Hotels

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,

Your comments welcome

Your FLORIDA Superstore


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