This day in Florida history: Skyway Bridge collapses

first_img We used to go out into the Gulf of Mexico nine miles out to a ship that used to be a Russian hospital ship that had been sold and made into a casino. We used to go out at John’s Pass at Madeira Beach, on the west coast on a fast ferry boat that took us out nine miles into international waters where you could gamble on the big ship anchored out there that was 5 stories high and then stay out there as long as you wanted. These fast ferry boats where coming and going day and night multiple times a day and night. Once as we got back to John’s Pass our ferry hit the pilings that were in the channel as the wind had gotten rough. I thought about the ship that hit the Sunshine Bridge. It was minor, but kind of scary…….. May 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm Reply Mama Mia Mama Mia That lone survivor of the bridge accident, Wesley MacIntire, actually drove over the bridge again, and he and his wife tossed 35 white carnations into the, to honor the others that had died, and he was the last to drive over the old bridge before it was demolished……If I had of survived that driving off into the waters below, I WOULD OF NEVER EVER, GOT BACK ON THAT BRIDGE AND DRIVE OVER IT AGAIN!!!!!!! Please enter your comment! Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Mama Mia Reply Reply The Anatomy of Fear Mama Mia Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Please enter your name herecenter_img  May 9th, 1980Freighter crashes into column, 35 people dieFrom WikipediaAt 7:33 a.m. on May 9, 1980, the freighter MV Summit Venture collided with a pier (support column) of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a blinding thunderstorm, sending over 1,200 feet (370 m) of the bridge plummeting into Tampa Bay. The collision caused six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound bus to fall 150 feet into the water, killing 35 people.One man, Wesley MacIntire, survived the fall when his pickup truck landed on the deck of the Summit Venture before falling into the bay. He sued the company that owned the ship and settled for $175,000 in 1984. The pilot of the ship, John Lerro, was cleared of wrongdoing by both a state grand jury and a Coast Guard investigation. The south main pier (the one that required reinforcement before completion) withstood the ship strike without significant damage. It was the second pier to the south of it that was destroyed, a secondary pier that was not designed to withstand a large ship strike.After the Summit Venture disaster, the southbound span was used as a temporary fishing pier and the northbound span was converted back to carry one lane in either direction until the current bridge opened. Before the old bridge was demolished and hauled away in barges, MacIntire (the only survivor in the collapse) was the last person to drive over it. He was accompanied by his wife, and when they reached the top of the bridge, they dropped 35 white carnations into the water, one for each person who died in the disaster. Both the main spans of both the intact northbound bridge and the damaged southbound bridge were demolished in 1993 and the approaches for both old spans were made into the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park. These approaches sit 1⁄2 mile (800 m) to the south and west of the current bridge. The approaches of the 1950 span were demolished in 2008.Governor Bob Graham’s idea for the design of the current bridge won out over other proposals, including a tunnel (deemed impractical due to Florida’s high water table) and a simple reconstruction of the broken section of the old bridge that would not have improved shipping conditions. The new bridge’s main span is 50% wider than the old bridge. The piers of the main span and the approaches for 1⁄4 mile (400 m) in either direction are surrounded by large concrete barriers, called “dolphins“, that can protect the bridge piers from collisions by ships larger than the Summit Venture like tankers, container ships, and cruise ships. May 9, 2017 at 8:18 pm After that we had to go to St. Pete at the marina and get ferried from there, and we got to ride out under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the newer one. You could really see the huge “dolphins” or concrete barriers. to keep the ships from hitting the newer bridge. We got to see real dolphins out there too circling and jumping, and it was a fun experience just riding out nine miles to the ship. We would come and go day and night. They served beer and snacks that was free on the ferry, and talking with others was a lot of fun going out there…….the Jewel Casino ship filed bankruptcy I heard and shut down operations. Their fuel bill was enormous for filling the ferry boats up constantly. They didn’t even charge for the ferry rides. It was so much fun, and we could wander around and get lost on the big ship. They had plenty of business. On the east coast you only have to go out 3 miles into international waters to gamble. Oh, remember when this happened! My husband, my mother, and I used to go places and several times we would drive over that bridge, the one that the section fell after the ship hit the supports of the bridge. I would close my eyes and get a strange feeling. I really feared that high bridge, and also the one that was in Savannah, GA., an old high bridge. When the Sunshine Bridge accident happened, I got a eerie feeling. Later on, we drove over the replacement bridge, and I still didn’t like it, but it was not as scary. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. May 9, 2017 at 8:12 pm May 9, 2017 at 8:42 pm Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply TAGSSkyway Bridge Previous articleDid Apopka miss an opportunity for greatness?Next articleHow does a dermatologist protect her skin from the sun? Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate 4 COMMENTSlast_img

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