Sunshine Skyway Bridge (Florida, USA) - the longest concrete bridge in the world
Location show on map
St. St. Petersburg and Bradenton, Florida, USA
Date of build
April 1987 - completion of construction
May 10, 1980, construction begins
Completed in 1987, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is the longest cable bridge made of concrete.
It is one of the most popular bridges created after 1970, among others due to its color. The cables supporting the structure are painted in a light yellow color, such as they have taxis.
The bridge is also known for its history. Sunshine Skyway is not the first bridge connecting the wide mouth of Tampa Bay. In fact, another four-mile bridge stood in the same place. On May 9, 1980, during a violent storm, the freighter "Summit Venture" hit the bridge. Over 250 meters of the structure fell into the water, killing 35 motorcyclists and bus passengers.
The Florida Department of Transportation started the construction of a safer bridge just a day later. Over 300 previously cast concrete segments have been joined by very strong steel ropes.
The protection of the bridge before the ships was the most important, so each of the pillars built large concrete islands called "dolphins" to absorb unwanted impacts.
The "dolphins" designed by Parson Brinkerhoff around each shaft have been designed to withstand the impact of a vessel weighing 87,000 tons at a speed of 10 knots.
The road carries 21 huge steel cables. These cables consist of thinner nine-inch wires.
10-meter long carriageways run from both sides of the cables. The bridge design allows drivers to view the bay. 20,000 cars pass through these 4 streets daily.
Tampa is a very busy port to provide navigation for larger ships, engineers have designed a bridge to rise 50 meters above the water level.
The longest single span is 365,7 meters long.
Since opening to the public in 1987, the shining Sunshine Skyway has won a dozen awards in the engineering and design category.
After one of the 536 horizontal cables connecting the 76 empty columns was interrupted due to corrosion, the inspectors found still several cables potentially exposed to damage.