Sunshine Skyway Bridge is considered the “flag bridge” of Florida, stretches across Tampa Bay and features a cable-stayed main span. The original bridge was built in 1954, but construction on the current bridge began in 1982 and it was re-opened in 1987. Of the more than 5,200 bridges in the state of Florida, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning scenic Tampa Bay, is by far the most famous. But the award-winning bridge that residents and tourists cross on a daily basis isn’t the first to hold the Skyway name.
Tampa Bay’s gorgeous bridge frequently rates amongst the top in the world. Travel Channel rated it number 3 on its Top 10 Bridges in the World List. The 5+ mile bridge connects St. Petersburg with Terra Ceia. Driving over this architectural wonder truly is a great experience; the views of the water on both side is simply amazing.
Numerous versions of the current bridge have stretched across lower Tampa Bay, and each has its own remarkable history. Nevin and Ric Sitler detail the suspension cables, concrete, nuts and bolts and political battles that combined to produce the fantastic history of the Skyway bridges and other historic Tampa Bay crossings.
Many visitors love crossing the bridge to take in views over the water. You must pay a small toll, but it’s worth it to snap a few photos from this spot. You can stop at a nearby park on the St. Petersburg side of the bridge to rest, swim, or have a picnic.
At 431 feet tall, it is also one of the tallest bridges in the world. As you drive up to the top, you almost feel as if you are heading up into the clouds. Due to its’ beauty, it is often used in car commercials. It is not a surprise that Sunshine Skyway Bridge has provided the setting for several films over the years, both credited and uncredited, e.g., Loren Cass and The Punisher (2004). Because of its height above the emerald-green Gulf waters, length of continuous travel, location in a warm-weather state, and modern architectural design.
Photo Credit: http://floridaphotomatt.com