Preventing Another Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1982, Vol. 52, Issue 3, Pg. 56-57

Document Type: Feature article


America will not soon forget the tragic collapse of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into Tampa Bay almost two years ago. That accident was a costly lesson in the crucial importance of protecting bridge piers from straying vessels. The Florida DOT is in the process of planning some measures to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future. They are leaning heavily to protecting bridge piers by constructing an embankment parallel to the bridge—one on the upstream side, another on the downstream side. Made of dredge spoil removed from the navigation channel, these embankments would stop a straying ship before it struck a bridge pier. Florida DOT is also looking into better navigational methods that would keep a ship from straying from the channel.

Subject Headings: Structural members | Disasters and hazards

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