Skip to comments.Who is from Tampa/St.Pete and remembers the collapse of the Sunshine Skyway in 1980?
Posted on 04/12/2012 9:20:24 PM PDT by POWERSBOOTHEFAN
I was going on four in 1980 and I don't remember hearing about this on the news. I was curious if anyone here remembers it or was actually stuck in traffic after the collapse.
I watched a video about it on YouTube.
I remember it well. I was a young woman living in St Pete and working as a bank examiner. Thankfully, the bank I was assigned to on that day was in Tampa and not Bradenton. It was a stormy and foggy morning. We were driving to work when we heard the news, and we could not believe it. Later that week, I drove out to Ft DeSoto, where I could see from across the bay how much of it was knocked down.
A lot of people were afraid to drive over that bridge. It seemed to go straight up and straight down. I didn’t like it, myself. The rescue workers were really shaken. I remember one talking about recovering the bodies from the Greyhound bus and the horror frozen on their faces. One lucky guy in a pickup truck survived because his truck landed on the barge instead of in the water. A lot of cars went over the edge as visibility was so poor. I remember one man stopped his car just short of the edge and warned others by standing at the edge waving frantically. It was a really sad day.
I was a native of St Pete, but I married and left the area in 1981.
Isn’t a part of it still there,next to the new one?
My mother had to drive over it a year or so ago and pulled over to the side because she started to panic. I’ve never been across it but I saw it from a distance in the video I watched.
I would be afraid to go across it,too. It’s so high up.
I think the man who just stopped short went to get his golf clubs out of the trunk!
I remember individuals that had previously commuted over the bridge had a drastic change of lifestyle after that.
The causeway-type approach sections of the old bridge are still there and have been turned into fishing piers.
I grew up in dade city/ pasco co and remember 2 incidents regarding the sunshine skyway being hit by large ship or barge. However, i was a teenager at the time and only remember that is was a tragedy leaving many injury and dead. I’m not sure that greater detail would make it any more real than it already is to me.
Some cards at the St Pete Times wanted to headline, “Ship Hits Span.”
I’d need therapy after that.
I don’t know if I could go there. It’s too sad,even though it’s been 32 years.
Sounds dumb to me.
Correction : I wasn’t as old as I thought. I just forgot the dates were earlier than I remembered.
The Blackthorn tragedy 1980 - I was 9 yrs and had lost my grandfather that year.
The Summit Venture disaster 1971 - was not even a year old so I must have remembered it from the new coverage in 1980.
I was impressed with how they rebuilt it. I have driven over the new Skyway several times, and it is not nearly so steep; more like a causeway. I was pleased with the design. They left quite a bit of the old bridge there, making fishing piers out of it. Before the old bridge was knocked down, I fished off the catwalks with my dad a few times.
It’s just so high. I don’t have a fear of bridges but that one would make me nervous.
It is pretty amazing how they rebuilt it. The math and science that went into it are incredible.
I am not from the area... I watched a Youtube with an emergency call about the collapse after reading this thread - absolutely horrific. At first, when I saw the thread title, I thought of the tragedy the next year in Kansas City ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse ), which I remembered very well from news coverage.
I have a fear of high bridges and spans and even not so high ones.
I have bad dreams about going over a HUGE bridge that is like a hump with no guardrails. I know, I need help! lol
I got afraid of heights more as I got older. I don’t know why.
There is a long span of bridge over rivers crossing the southern TN border into AL on I-65. It’s safe but I drove over once in the dark and it was raining and I was, I should say, cautious.
I watched that video,too. It really is horrific and chilling.
my mother developed a fear of heights when she got older,too.
Never been on the Sunshine Skyway, but recently drove from Buffalo to Toronto and there were three bridges that were the highest, steepest, and longest ones I believe I’ve ever been on, and not to mention pretty narrow. I was fine, but for those who have a fear of bridges, these would have absolutely freaked those people out.
My stepfather was one of the engineers that investigated the why’s of the disaster.
Gruesome work, I was told.
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