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ST. PETERSBURG, FL — ST. PETERSBURG, FL — 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 today. 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 Rettinhouse. “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 Rettinhouse 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 Governor 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 began 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 four miles 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 feet 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, NV, showcases a digital illustration created by artist Dan Cosgrove of Chicago, IL. 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.
Customers may view the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Priority Mail stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Sunshine Skyway Bridge Stamp
St. Petersburg Main Post Office
3135 1st Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33730-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by April 28, 2012.
How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
US Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City MO 64121-9014
There is one philatelic product available for this stamp issue: 114761, First-Day Cover, $5.59.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom at http://about.usps.com/news/welcome.htm.
For reporters interested in speaking with a regional Postal Service public relations professional on this issue, please go to http://about.usps.com/news/media-contacts/usps-local-media-contacts.pdf.
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service was ranked number one in overall service performance, out of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, by Oxford Strategic Consulting. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.
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