Tolls from two Tampa Bay crossings to pay for other roads

| 8/20/2003

Tolls from the Sunshine Skyway and other toll roads in Florida will help pay for other roads under a plan being carried out in the state, The St. Petersburg Times reported Aug. 19.

The Skyway, which the newspaper called “one of the state's healthiest roads financially” is a combination causeway and bridge that runs south out of St. Petersburg across the Tampa Bay, carrying I-275 from the peninsula that surrounds the bay back to the mainland portion of Florida.

Money from the Skyway and the Pinellas Bayway, a road that connects several islands south of St. Petersburg, will be used to pay for work on two highways, U.S. 19 and State Route 60, The Times reported.

While transfers of toll money between other roads has occurred in the past, the transfer of money from the Sunshine Skyway and the Pinellas Bayway, as well as the Beeline East Expressway, was authorized this year by the Florida Legislature.

SB676 allowed money from those three roads to be used to “fund transportation projects located within the county or counties in which the facility is located.” The bill was approved by both houses in May and signed into law by the governor July 14.

The Sunshine Skyway includes a large cable-stayed bridge that was completed in 1987. It replaced the original span, a traditional iron girder structure.