When the Vital Links Break

Many Tampa Bay residents feel a surge of civic pride as they drive across the new $244 million, 4.1-mile Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the centerpiece of a 13- mile causeway connecting the tip of St. Petersburg's peninsula to the mainland. The span replaces a pair of cantilevered bridges, built in 1954 and 1971. The newer of the two collapsed in 1980, killing 35 people, when it was hit by a freighter during a blinding rainstorm. After the accident, more than 20,000 vehicles a day crowded onto the single remaining two-lane span. Government officials could have repaired the damaged structure for about $30...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!