St. Petersburg's Sunshine Skyway Bridge soars 180 feet over the water and reaches over four miles, connecting St. Petersburg with mainland Florida, near Bradenton. A drive across it gives the Florida Key's Seven Mile Bridge a run for its money.
The span portion of the bridge is just over a mile long but with three miles of connector on each side, it's a drive that should be on everyone's road trip bucket list. The connectors seem to float just above the green and blue water of Tampa Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The close proximity to the water and wide-open views on each side make it a popular stretch of road for car commercials.
Another striking feature of the span bridge are the bright yellow cables that soar 250 feet into the sky.
Despite being an architectural icon that measures 430 feet tall, the 180-foot height limit is already preventing some of the world's greatest ships from reaching Port Tampa Bay. In fact, nearly every new cruise ship built today has an air draft exceeding 180 feet. That leads to the question, should they replace the 30 year-old bridge with a taller one or is it more cost-effective to build an additional, more modern port a few miles north or south of the current historic Port Tampa Bay? As the largest port in Florida — supporting over 80,000 jobs — its days may be numbered if it is no longer reachable by the state-of-the-art container and cruise ships that are being assembled today.
This photograph was captured with a DJI Mavic Pro drone.