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Sunshine Skyway Bridge


View from south

Photo taken by James Baughn

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BH Photo #101664

Street View 


Southbound on I-275, the Sunshine Highway Bridge

Video by Mark Boettcher

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Cable-stayed bridge over Tampa Bay on I-275/US 19 at Saint Petersburg
Pinellas County, Florida
Open to four lanes of traffic
Opened to traffic April 20, 1987
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Figg & Muller Engineering Group of Tallahassee, Florida
Length of largest span: 1,200.0 ft.
Total length: 29,040.0 ft. (5.5 mi.)
Deck width: 94.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge (official name)
Suicide Skyway (sometimes used by locals due to its reputation of bridge jumpers)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+27.62500, -82.65833   (decimal degrees)
27°37'30" N, 82°39'30" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/336374/3056760 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Anna Maria
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory numbers
FDOT 150189 (Florida Dept. of Transportation bridge number)
BH 12495 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2018)
Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 70.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • January 29, 2023: New video from Mark Boettcher
  • September 12, 2021: New photo from Mark Boettcher
  • November 24, 2014: Updated by Nathan Holth: NRHP Eligible (due to "exceptional significance within the past 50 years")
  • July 24, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • July 24, 2014: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • March 26, 2013: New photo from J.P.
  • May 20, 2010: New photo from James Norwood
  • February 17, 2009: New photos from Joe Herrington
  • August 28, 2008: Updated by Kim Harvey
  • February 26, 2007: Posted new photos

Related Bridges 



Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted January 10, 2015, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My prayers go out to the family of Phoebe Jonchuck, the little girl who was murdered by being thrown off this bridge Thursday.


Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted November 24, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I would further comment that the Florida Historic Bridge Inventory says this of the other cable stayed bridge:

"Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge at Dames Point was the only bridge in the United States to feature the harp (parallel) stay arrangement on two vertical planes, a design that rivals suspension bridges for strength and beauty."

Having visited the St. Johns Bridge in Oregon this year, and living in the state that is home to the Mackinac Bridge, take offense at that statement. I think Florida is just jealous they don't have a Steinman.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted November 24, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I don't work for either FDOT or Florida SHPO, and had absolutely no input into their findings, which can be referenced here: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/emo/pubs/Historic%20Highway%20Bri...

I mostly just added this observation as an amusement (two cable stayed bridges in FL listed as eligible!!!), and it will also come in handy when arguing with PennDOT about why a 500 foot pin-connected Pennsylvania thru truss should be NRHP eligible. The statement of "exceptional significance" is a technical language of the National Register of Historic Places that allows for listing of structures less than the traditional 50 year threshold. It is NOT my wording for either cable stayed bridge. My description of these bridges would not be family appropriate.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted November 24, 2014, by CANALLER

Of all people, Nathan is the one that works on this page to point out this bridge is "exceptionally significant"? What could have happened inside his head to bring that edit out?

The only significant thing this bridge did was usher in an era of hideous segmental concrete viaducts and imitation suspension bridges. Great news for the folks at Figg, but as bland as can be in most cases.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted July 10, 2014, by Will (wilmercolon [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Although the bridge connects Pinellas county to Manatee county, the main bridge is actually located in Hillsborough County.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted January 30, 2013, by Robert (rlpip43 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My father Homer (Bill), was an engineer for the Florida DOT and did a lot of work on this bridge. He was on the old bridge when the barge ran into the span. He was part of the rescue effort, yelling down to boats attempting to rescue survivors or recover bodies.

He had terrible dreams the rest of his life concerning this terrible accident and he had trouble with his vocal cords, after having yelled down to the rescue boats.

We also liked to fish off the old bridge and we caught many fine fish.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted September 24, 2012, by Brenda (brendaleek [at] gmail [dot] com)


There were more than 3 women on this job. I worked for Paschen Contractors who did the main span. My name then was Brenda Leftwich, (I've since remarried). There was a woman named Amy that operated a tower crane. There were several other women that did various jobs. I don't remember a Robin. Maybe you worked for a different company that did not work on the main span. I worked there from 1984 to late 1986 and my first husband also worked there during that time. Robin, do you have any photos of yourself there? Maybe that would ring a bell. I do have photos but I will need to scan them in.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted July 18, 2009, by Robin (Keywestwym [at] aol [dot] com)

I was the only female Concrete Batchman (womyn) and maybe the 1st of maybe 3 women on the whole job...( the rest were boat operators or QC ) I batched all the concrete on the main pier foundations on the Skyway back in 1984.( Right Mikey?) The job was bid at 6 million and we built a floating batch plant at a cost of 3 million. We had to run around this barge the size of a football field and hit this batch plant with hammers to keep it running!We built an 180 ton Ammonia Ice Plant on it ( cause we couldnt add water) it had 4 and 6 yard mixers and 2 portland tankers on the back. Boy, could I tell some stories!!! The BEST Job I was EVER Proud to be a part of! Email me if you also worked there during the first part of the job, on the main pier foundations. Like Bigfoot Dave...or Jim Norton?

"There's 3 ways of Building this Bridge " we were told...

"The Right way... The Wrong Way.. and THE HARDAWAY!!! "

Bwwwwaaaaaa!! ....Robin


Here's some info on it.

In June, 1982, construction began on this 4 mile, 6.4 km. bridge across Tampa Bay, Florida. The main span cable-stayed structure, with a precast deck superstructure, was designed by Figg & Muller, the approaches were designed by the Florida Dept. of Transportation. This massive bridge was equipped with a bridge protection system, designed by Parsons Brinkerhoff. This protection system was developed to withstand an impact from an 87,000-ton tanker traveling at 10 knots.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge has a main span of 1200 ft., 365.7 m. and a vertical clearance of 193 ft., 58.8 m.. Completed in April, 1987, at a construction cost of approximately $245 million, the bridge safely carries four lanes of traffic (20,000 cars a day) back and forth from Pinellas County (St. Petersburg) to Manatee County.

Project Update:

As of 4-24-01

One of the 53 6 vertical steel tendons that hold together the bridge's 76 hollow pillars has failed from corrosion, and inspectors have discovered potentially harmful rust on several others. For more information click here. ( or copy and paste...


Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted February 5, 2009, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is a site devoted to historic bridges. The criterion that I have heard the most for "how old is historic?", is around 50 years. Now some cases can be made for spans that are not quite this old, but this bridge (although unique) would not be considered historic. Some bridges do get posted on this site simply because they are bridges, and not because they are historic.

That being said.....I would recommend that anyone wanting information on this bridge should contact the Pinellas County, Florida or the Tampa-St.Pete Tourism Bureau and they should be able to direct you.


Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted February 5, 2009, by Anonymous


Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted July 4, 2008, by Jeremiah

This is ridiculous that I can't find out the height of the skyway bridge on a sight that is supposedly devoted to nothing but skyway facts! Get it together.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted June 25, 2008, by Veronica Bell (Veronicab [at] tampabay [dot] rr [dot] com)

I'm interested in finding out the heights of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. (the highest point)


Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted March 25, 2008, by kina (amen1234 [at] comcast [dot] net)

This Page really didn't help me at all, but some of the pictures were pretty cool. It was fun for observing, you just need a couple more fun facts about the bridge. I am doing a project for structural engineering about the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and not only are you a website that needs more, but others are worse. I am not putting you down I think it is fabulous that you worked hard to get this website, but just a few more updates is all that I would ask for. THANKS any way


a bridge nere the sherif station.
Posted April 30, 2007, by mario shillito (shillito_mario [at] yahoo [dot] com)

theres this bridge in the woods nere the sherif station i was qurius obout it,it look's old it's got writeing on it it's white and tall so if you can e-m me back okay thank u so much...

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Posted December 14, 2006, by Randy Brush

More photo and find out of old bridge and new bridge. You see Wikipedia. What happen old bridge was collasped since 1980. thank you.