The original Sunshine Sky Way Bridge was completed in 1954; however, the southbound span was destroyed May 9, 1980 when SS Summitt Venture freighter collided with the bridge.
During this terrible accident,
six automobiles and
1 Greyhound bus fell 150 feet,
killing 35 people.
Read more about the bridge collapse in this book:
Bridge Down A True Story
(freighter Summit Venture hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge spanning Tampa Bay on may 9, 1980)
See our photo gallery of over 50 photos of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the old bridge remains, and the rest area near the Skyway Bridge.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is the world’s longest cable-stayed concrete bridge, 5.5 miles, with cables supporting the bridge deck. This bridge is part of I-275 (SR 93) and US 19 (SR 55), connecting St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Palmetto in Manatee County, Florida, passing through Hillsborough County waters. The current bridge was opened to traffic on April 20, 1987.
The ORIGINAL Sunshine Skyway Bridge was built in 1954
Destroyed in 1980 by the MV Summit Venture (accident) USCGC Blackthorn
The original bridge had 2 lanes Northbound and 2 lanes Southbound.
The Southbound section of the bridge was destroyed and the Northbound lanes were used until the new Skyway Bridge was completed.
Rebuilt 1987 – opened Feb 7, 1987
Named the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge in 1994
Bob Graham was the Governor of Florida in 1994
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge took 5 years to complete (1982-1987)
This is Toll Bridge (2009 – $1 for cars)(2011 the toll went up to $1.25)
The old bridge now serves as a fishing pier - View photos of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Boat going under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida
View the OLD bridge here