Sunshine Skyway Nears Completion

by Antonio M. Garcia, Skyway Proj. Mgr.; Florida Dept. of Transportation, Tallahassee, FL,
Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1986, Vol. 56, Issue 11, Pg. 32-35

Document Type: Feature article


The new Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida replaces an older structure that had been severely damaged when a ship rammed it during a 1980 storm, taking 35 lives. Its central span, at 1,200 ft, and 540 ft back spans comprise the longest cable stayed concrete segmental bridge built to date, rising 175 ft above the ship channel. The 95 ft wide trapezoidal segments were erected by the balanced cantilever method. High level approaches completing the central 4,000 ft are also precast prestressed concrete segments. On either side of the high level, the road splits into dual structures, first on 42 ft 9 in. trapezoidal boxes and finally on low level trestles. The piers were designed for defense against future ship impacts ranging from 12,000 kips for each main channel pier to 1,000 kips at the trestles. Islands and dolphins protect the main pylon and adjacent piers. The final main span segment was placed Aug. 23, 1986, and the bridge will open to traffic early in 1987.

Subject Headings: Concrete bridges | Piers | Span bridges | Cable stayed bridges | Cables | Precast concrete | Bays | Damage (structural) | Florida | United States | Tampa

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