skyway bridge collapse disaster

collapse disaster

photos  •  videos  •  articles: 1980 / 1981-99 / 2000-
the victims  •  memorial  •  documentary  •  books
comments  •  other skyway/boat collisions  •  sitemap
your thoughts or memories about the disaster
bottom of this page  •  home  •  additions/contact

offsite links could be broken at any time.

 skyway bridge disaster articles

from 2000 on  •  1980  •  1981-1999
updated: 07.08.21
links could be broken at any time.
05.07.00: memories stay with the man at command of the ship. article image
05.07.00: article about the 05.09.80 bridge collapse. article image
05.19.00: full articles
08.31.02: John Lerro, 'summit venture' harbor pilot, dead at 59. article image

05.07.05: 'mayday, mayday': the skyway's last 11 minutes.
08.02.07: minneapolis bridge collapse evokes memories of disaster. article image
08.22.08: Eastern Skyway Piers To Close; Structures' Safety A Concern
08.22.08,, STEVEN GIRARDI, The Tampa Tribune
ST. PETERSBURG - The state will close the eastern portions of the Sunshine Skyway fishing piers because years of deterioration and saltwater corrosion make them difficult to maintain.
That means pushing a little closer together on the remaining western piers for the 335,000 people who use the popular fishing spots each year.
The eastern piers, built in 1954, will close Aug. 29, the state's Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday.
When the new Sunshine Skyway Bridge was built over Tampa Bay in 1987, connecting St. Petersburg with Manatee County, the old bridges were opened as the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park.
It consists of two sets of piers, north and south, that stretch into Tampa Bay. Each set has an east and west side made from two former bridges joined together to make travel easier for drivers and pedestrians.
The east piers are closest to the Sunshine Skyway.
The west piers, built in 1971, will remain open 24 hours, but the state will continue to evaluate them. Inspectors regularly check the piers for cracks and deterioration, DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said.
"It's really been the past few weeks it reached a point of a concern," she said.
The east piers were built to last 50 years, so paying to repair and maintain them is no longer reasonable, Carson said.
The west piers also will need repairs. Adding 10 years to their life, through 2031, is expected to cost $10 million.
Crews are modifying the west piers to accommodate two-way traffic and 300 parking spaces.
Cars and light trucks without trailers will be allowed on the west piers. Large trucks and recreational vehicles will be prohibited, but parking for large vehicles will be available near the piers.
07.29.09: the interstate 275 florida blog - the old sunshine skyway bridge.
07.07.11: Old Skyway fishing pier to get new life as artificial reef.
07.07.11,, Craig Pittman, Times Staff Writer,
ST. PETERSBURG — Construction crews begin this month tearing down the oldest spans of the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier, which until three years ago was a popular spot for anglers out for a day of sun and fun.
The original 1954 spans were deemed structurally unsound, so the public has not been allowed to use them since 2008.
But just because that part of the fishing pier is being demolished doesn't mean anglers won't ever get to use them again. Instead, those spans — 27 on the north end, 48 on the south — will become a place to find a lot of fish.
Underwater, that is.
None of the concrete debris will be dumped into Tampa Bay. Instead, it will be loaded onto barges and taken out into the Gulf of Mexico, said Aubrey Clarke, a spokeswoman for the Skyway project.
"It will be taken out to become part of various reef locations," she explained.
Clarke said she could not say at this point which reefs would get the concrete from the old Skyway. However, Pinellas County operates 10 artificial reef sites, from 3 to 21 miles offshore in the gulf.
The reefs are made of Army tanks, old barges, World War II landing craft, even a tugboat. One, off St. Pete Beach, contains parts of the old Corey Causeway.
To Capt. Tony Allen of Electric Blue Fishing Charters, adding the old Skyway concrete to those reefs is "a very good idea. Juvenile fish are going to congregate around it, and then larger predators are going to come looking for the smaller fish."
The old Skyway bridge's operator boasts that it's the longest fishing pier in the world, a place where "you can pack your picnic, umbrella, chairs and fishing equipment and drive up to your fishing spot. It's like tailgating and fishing at the same time."
Anglers catch tarpon, Spanish mackerel, cobia, grouper and kingfish from the old spans, and because it's open 24 hours, they can be out there day or night.
While the demolition work goes on, anglers can continue fishing off the Skyway spans that were built in 1970, which run parallel to the old ones. However, state officials are warning boaters to keep clear of the old piers by 100 feet.
The two bait shops on the north and south piers also will remain open. The project is expected to cost about $2.2 million.
05.09.15:, remembering the disaster: 'this is not explainable'.
05.08.18:, 38 years since fateful day the Skyway went down.
05.09.18:, the skyway plunged into tampa bay 38 years ago.
05.09.18:, photos: skyway bridge disaster anniversary.
05.09.18:, sarasota’s connections to the skyway bridge disaster.
11.22.18:, filmmaker turns bridge crash into a documentary.
05.06.20:, divers can’t forget what they saw underwater.
05.07.20:, what happened to those who made headlines?
. the skyway bridge tragedy at 40.
05.04.20, part 1, the elements had control of that vessel.
05.05.20, part 2, he could’ve swam somewhere.
05.06.20, part 3, i guess it was just god’s will.
05.07.20, part 4, she believed in me.
05.08.20, part 5, the survivor.
05.04.21:, father, son stood on edge of abyss.
05.04.21:, when the skyway fell, he raced to the scene.
07.08.21:, the taking of tolls and a final saga from the disaster.
05.03.22:, Skyway memories rise to surface.
photos  •  videos  •  articles: 1980 / 1981-99 / 2000-
the victims  •  memorial  •  documentary  •  books
comments  •  other skyway/boat collisions  •  sitemap
your thoughts or memories about the disaster
top of this page  •  home  •  additions/contact
more at