Concrete is as versatile as it is strong. It can be used in a variety of ways, from building walls and highway barriers to serving as the support structure for some of the largest bridges in the world. There’s no denying its appeal.
At Del Zotto Products of Florida, we believe in the power of concrete. We recognize its strength and sustainability, and we can understand why it’s used to build many famous bridges. Keep reading to learn more about a few big concrete bridges in the United States.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge, or the Sunshine Skyway Bridge for short, is located in Tampa Bay, FL. This 21,877 foot bridge has a cable-stayed main span. The bridge was built with steel and concrete, and the center line is supported by steel cables clad in steel tubing. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge connects St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, FL with Terra Ceia in Manatee County, FL. Construction on the bridge began in 1982 and was officially completed on Feb. 7, 1987 by the American Bridge Company. In 2004, the bridge’s precast columns were reinforced, as there was some corrosion damage. In its special, “Top 10 Bridges in the World,” the Travel Channel rated this bridge at number three.
Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River in South Carolina that connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. This eight-lane bridge eased the congestion of U.S. Route 17 when it opened in 2005, replacing two obsolete cantilever truss bridges. Its main span covers 1,546 feet, making it the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Furthermore, it was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff to withstand various shipping accidents and natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
Seven Mile Bridge
The famous Seven Mile Bridge can be found in the Florida Keys in Monroe County, FL. It connects Knight’s Key with Little Duck Key and is actually made of two separate bridges–the Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge and Florida East Coast Railway’s Key West Extension (also called the Overseas Railroad). The bridge has a box-girder structure. It is built from precast, prestressed concrete comprising 40 spans. Seven Mile Bridge was designed by Henry Flagler and only spans 6.79 miles. It has appeared in such films as Licence to Kill and 2 Fast 2 Furious.
After reading about these bridges, it should be easy to see why concrete is so widely used in modern construction. Regardless of what the future of architecture looks like, you can expect to see the continued use of concrete. If you want further proof of concrete’s strength, go take a look at these bridges in person.
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