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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
I-275/US-19 Tampa Bay Crossing At Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg, Florida

Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge

• Bridge: Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
• Structure ID: NBI 150189
• City: Saint Petersburg
• State: Florida
• Country: USA
• Carries: I-275/US-19
• Crosses: Tampa Bay
• Date Opened: February 7, 1987
• Total Length: 29,039 Feet
• Longest Span: 1,200 Feet
• Tower Height: Unknown
• Deck Width: 94 Feet
• Number Of Lanes: 4
• Number Of Spans: 1
• Height Above Water: 193 Feet
• Traffic Count: 30,500 (2000)
The history of the Sunshine Skyway starts on May 9, 1980. On that morning, the freighter Summit Venture struck the existing steel truss bridge, causing it to fall into Tampa Bay. The accident resulted in the deaths of 35 motorists and bus passengers.

Within days of the accident, the Florida DOT started planning a replacement bridge. To prevent the repeat of such an accident, huge concrete barriers called dolphins were built marking the channel through the bridge. Florida Governor Bob Graham suggested the cable stay design after seeing similar bridges in France. As a result, the bridge was named after the Governor in 2005. A cable stay design with a single set of cables running down the center of the bridge was chosen to give motorists an unobstructed view of the water.

Part of the old bridge lives on. The causeway sections on both ends of the old bridge were preserved as public fishing piers. Crossovers were installed between the lanes to allow vehicles to turn-around. Shops were built to allow visitors to have restrooms, and buy food (both human food and bait). The fishing piers have proven to very popular and are heavily used. They provide a unique way to cast a line a mile or more offshore without having to charter a boat.


Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge

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