The U.S. Postal Service recognized the 25th anniversary of Florida's Sunshine Skyway Bridge by issuing the $5.15 Sunshine Skyway Bridge Priority Mail stamp. In the stamp artwork, the bridge rises from Tampa Bay's vivid blue water and is silhouetted against an orange sky. Tiny vehicles on the roadbed reveal the massive scale of this engineering marvel.
The new Sunshine Skyway bridge started with a disaster and concluded with the world's most beautiful bridge. The collision and loss of life which occurred on May 9, 1980, created an opportunity to build a new bridge which memorialized the 35 people who lost their lives that day; engaged state of the art design, engineering and construction and unified the Tampa Bay communities to create what is now the signature of Tampa Bay.
Construction began on the new bridge began two years after the tragedy. The new bridge featured on the stamp is one of the first major concrete-and-steel, cable-stayed bridges in the United States. Completed in 1987, the main bridge and approach spans stretch more than four miles across Tampa Bay and link the Gulf Coast communities surrounding St. Petersburg and Bradenton.
To many people the 42 brilliant yellow cables look like sails and their two supporting pylons like masts rising from the water. Engineers designed the cable-stayed section of the new bridge to soar 190 feet above the water to allow unhindered navigation to and from the busy port of Tampa.
Setting new standards for technical innovation and esthetics, the structural design is considered by many to be a modern masterpiece. Renamed in 2005 after the former governor who envisioned its construction, the Bob Graham/Sunshine Skyway Bridge has been the recipient of dozens of engineering and design awards.
The stamp, designed by Carl T. Hermann of North Las Vegas, NV, showcases a digital illustration created by artist Dan Cosgrove of Chicago, IL.
Stamp Issue: 2012.04.28