UPDATE: The Sunshine Skyway Bridge will stay closed overnight Tuesday, as wind gusts are clocked at 50 mph, making travel across the four-mile span unsafe.
ORIGINAL POST, TUESDAY AFTERNOON:
Area bridges, shut down due to flooded roads and high winds, are all open now – except for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning Manatee and Pinellas counties. The attached photos show bridge conditions today on the Howard Frankland and Courtney Campbell, including crash surf.
The Skyway Bridge has stayed closed since 4 p.m. Sunday because of wind gusts that clocked up to 55 mph. Wind speeds today are measuring 47 mph, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Officials say the prolonged closing is unprecedented in the bridge's history. The only other closing that comes close was during Tropical Storm Gabrielle, but the four-mile span only shut down for eight hours on Sept. 14, 2001.
The bridge averages about 52,000 vehicles each day. It will remain closed until winds subside, the Florida High Patrol said today.
The Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Gandy Bridge and the Howard Frankland Bridge are being constantly monitored by troopers to ensure the safety of motorists, the Florida Highway Patrol said in a news release.
Motorists are encouraged to call 511 and to check the FHP Live Crash and Roadway Conditions website at: http://www.flhsmv.gov/fhp/traffic/crs_h501.htm