Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunshine Skyway

Florida Bridge 11-22

Postmarked 22 November 1957
Sarasota, Florida

Postcard Caption:
FRONT: Florida's Sunshine Skyway, Longest Continuous Structure over Water in the World 
BACK: Sunshine Skyway connecting St. Petersburg with Manatee and Sarasota Counties, on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Postcard Message:
Hi folks, / Arrived Tues. Are pretty well settled now. Sure like it here. / This bridge is just about 12 mi from here. Is really something. Hope all are well. / Donaldsons
This postcard was sent just three years after construction of the Sunshine Skyway, then a two-lane bridge. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, two additional lanes were added. Two disasters struck the bridge, literally, in 1980. In January, the USCGC Blackthorn hit the bridge after lights from the tanker Capricorn interfered with the crew's ability to see. In May, the Sunset Venture freighter hit a support column during a storm, destroying 1200 feet of the southbound lanes. Over 50 people died in these two accidents.

Just seven years later, on April 20, 1987, a new bridge was constructed and is still in use today, though there are concerns over possible corrosion in the steel material.

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