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Florida Bridge Honored on New Stamp

Wed April 18, 2012 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

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 Sunshine Skyway Bridge links the Gulf Coast communities surrounding St. Petersburg and Bradenton,” said U.S. Postal Service Suncoast district acting manager Nancy Rittenhouse. “And, now the bridge will link people around the nation with family members, loved ones, friends and businesses when they use the stamp to send Priority Mail.”

Joining Rittenhouse in dedicating the stamp was St. Petersburg city council chair Leslie Curran.

“It is an honor for the city of St. Petersburg to host the stamp dedication ceremony,” said Curran.

Unable to attend, former Florida Gov. Bob Graham provided the following statement. “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 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 4 mi. 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 ft. 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, Nev., showcases a digital illustration created by artist Dan Cosgrove of Chicago, Ill. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Pre-Stamped Priority Mail Envelope is being issued at the $5.15 rate. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Priority Mail stamp is being issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20 at the $5.15 rate or $103 per sheet.

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