Friday, April 20, 2012
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a bridge spanning Tampa Bay, Florida, with a cable-stayed main span, and a total length of 21,877 feet (4.1 miles or approximately 6.67 km). It is part of I-275 (SR 93) and US 19 (SR 55), connecting St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Terra Ceia in Manatee County, Florida, passing through Hillsborough County waters. Construction of the current bridge began in 1982, and the completed bridge was dedicated on February 7, 1987. The new bridge cost $244 million to build, and was opened to traffic on April 20, 1987. It replaced an older bridge constructed in 1954 and partly destroyed in a collision in 1980.
It is constructed of steel and concrete. Steel cables clad in eighty-four nine-inch (229 mm) steel tubes (forty-two per pylon) along the center line of the bridge support the main span. It was designed by the Figg & Muller Engineering Group (who also designed the popular Seven Mile Bridge), and built by the American Bridge Company.