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Sunshine Skyway Bridge gets a makeover

WilsonMiller was awarded a Construction Engineering and Inspection Services contract by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for oversight and inspection of construction work involving painting and trestle repair to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, as well as repairs to the Howard Frankland Bridge and Courtney Campbell Causeway. WilsonMiller will provide contract administration, inspection, and materials sampling and testing services under the management of FDOT’s Structures and Facilities Office, based in Tampa. Construction on these projects is expected to take place during the next two years.

The Tampa Bay area’s most recognizable landmark since it opened in 1987, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is 4.1 miles long and has the world’s longest cable-stayed section of any concrete bridge, measuring 1,200 feet. The vertical clearance is 197 feet at mid-span. It connects St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Palmetto in Manatee County via Interstate 275, while passing over Tampa Bay in Hillsborough County.

Painting the cable stays that support the structure will serve an aesthetic and practical function, enhancing the beauty of the structure while shielding it from corrosion. An interim touch-up project, done some years ago to protect the cables until a full repainting could be completed, left some of the pipes with a two-tone appearance. The new paint job will cover the cable stays with a consistent shade of yellow, while the concrete barrier walls will be refinished in an off-white color.

The Howard Frankland Bridge carries I-275 over the northern portion of Tampa Bay; the Courtney Campbell Causeway is the northernmost bridge across Old Tampa Bay, connecting Clearwater and Tampa via State Road 60. Repair projects on those two major corridors will increase the service life of the facilities.