The Edmondson Blog

Sunshine Skyway

The original bridge over the mouth of Tampa Bay in Florida was built in 1954 as a two-lane road bridge. In 1969 a similar bridge was build alongside to increase capacity. during a storm early on the morning of Friday 9th May 1980 the ship, The Summit Venture crashed into one of the support columns, bringing down one central span. 35 people, all in motor vehicles crossing the bridge, lost their lives. The experienced ship pilot was cleared of blame.

A new Sunshine Skyway was built alongside and opened in April 1987. The old bridge was demolished.

Above: The Summit Venture after the collision, with a section of the bridge across her bow.
Above: the car of the luckiest person you know - the driver skidded to a halt just 14" from the edge. The Summit Venture can be seen in the right background.

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