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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

More than 50,000 cars, and $60,000, did not pass through Skyway during fog closures, state says

Bicyclists drive toward the foggy Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Tuesday.


Bicyclists drive toward the foggy Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Tuesday.



Aside from, perhaps, a few years on a few thousand commuters’ lives, what did the fog that closed the Sunshine Skyway bridge twice this week cost?

Toll revenue.

You know the deal by now. Warm, humid air met slightly cooler water. Together they made sea fog so thick that drivers on the Skyway would have seen less than 100 feet in front of them. So the Florida Highway Patrol shut the bridge down, for hours on Tuesday morning and then again on Thursday morning, just as commuters were flipping on their headlights, setting off lengthy detours and hefty traffic delays.

Some choice curse words later, everyone was (probably) where they needed to be.

But all of those people on their way to work or school or the airport or the beach did not pay their usual tolls to pass over the region’s signature bridge. A state Department of Transportation spokesman said an estimated total of 54,000 cars or trucks did not drive across the Skyway this week when the span was closed.

The resulting revenue loss? About $66,000, said the spokesman, David R Botello.

SunPass users pay $1.06 every time they pass over the bridge, and a dollar more for each additional axle. Cash payers dish out $1.25, and the same for each additional axle.

Friday morning, the fog was not so soupy, and the Skyway was open as usual.

[Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 11:00am]


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