ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- If you've ever wanted to run across the Sunshine Skyway, you'll have your chance next March.
- Second Annual Skyway 10-K will take place March 3, 2019
- First one earlier this year raised more than half-a-million dollars
On March 4, 2018, the Sunshine Skyway was closed for six hours for a first-of-its-kind charity 10K road race. Race organizers announced Tuesday that the race will will be back for a second year.
The northbound lanes of the Sunshine Skyway bridge will close from 4 a.m. until 10 a.m. for the Skyway 10K race to happen.
This forces drivers traveling from Manatee County to St. Petersburg to take a close to 40 mile detour to avoid the bridge. Southbound lanes will remain open.
"If there was major concern from any one of the three counties, the city of St. Pete, FHP, we wouldn't move forward with the permit," said Brian Mckishnie with the Florida Department of Transportation.
Thirteen government agencies, including FDOT, have given the green light for the race and the bridge shutdown, after developing plans to address all concerns such as safety, security, and traffic issues.
Event organizers have made improvements to race logistics, such as new parking patterns and an improved transportation system to get racers to the start line.
There will still be an emergency vehicles lane, to keep racers safe, and as Kelly Kresel, the event's Director of Operations, says, "we have a very sound plan and a contingency plan for absolutely any emergency that could happen on that bridge."
Skyway 10K officials say that Governor Rick Scott has also placed his support with the event, and has even talked about working to create a 5 year agreement with the race.
More than $500,000 was raised to for the Armed Forces Families Foundation. And organizers say they just received the green light to do it again.
"When we were able to come back and say that we raised half-a-million dollars in a one day event, I'd be hard pressed to find any other event in the country that could raise half a million in one day... where all of that goes to one charity, let alone military families," said Event Director Brian Horne.
Registration will open late summer. While the date has not yet been released, officials are expecting it to sell out in just a few hours.