“A.K.A. the 6.79 Mile Bridge”
A masterpiece of engineering. The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It connects Knight's Key (part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway. There are two bridges in this location. The older bridge, originally known as the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, was constructed from 1909-1912 under the direction ofHenry Flagler as part of the Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension, also known as the Overseas Railroad. The total length of the new bridge is actually 35,862 ft (10,931 m) or 6.79 miles (10.93 km), and is shorter than the original. Each April the bridge is closed for approximately 2.5 hours on a Saturday and a "fun run," known as the Seven Mile Bridge Run, of 1,500 runners is held commemorating the Florida Keys bridge rebuilding project. The event began in 1982 to commemorate the completion of a federally funded bridge building program that replaced spans that oil tycoon Henry Flagler constructed in the early 1900s to serve as a foundation for his Overseas Railroad. The Seven Mile Bridge was engineered by Figg & Muller Engineers. The structure was completed six months ahead of schedule and has earned eight awards, including an Exceptional Award for Cost Savings Innovation from the Federal Highway Administration. The Bridge has featured in many films such as License To Kill, True Lies, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Mission Impossible III.
The original Overseas Railroad was constructed by Henry Flagler Henry Morrison Flagler Museum between 1908-1912, at a cost of $80 million. He funded it out of his own pocket. Seven Mile Bridge was the longest bridge in the world, at the time, and considered the "8th Wonder of The World". Pigeon Key, the small island shown here, was a base camp for the workers who built the bridge. In 1935, a Cat 5 hurricane wiped out part of the railroad, near Upper Matecumbe Key, once again isolating a now populated Lower Keys. The State of Florida purchased the RR right of way and began construction of an automobile bridge on the original railroad bed/bridge from Homestead to Key West. In 1938, the Overseas Highway opened to vehicle traffic. In 1985, the original Seven Mile Bridge, on the right, was bypassed by a new bridge, on the left. The section of old bridge beyond Pigeon Key was removed to prevent vehicle traffic beyond it, but it was still possible to travel from Marathon to Pigeon Key. Now, the 2.4 mile stretch is in danger of demolition. Only foot traffic and bicycles are allowed due to deteriorating concrete. The bridge and Pigeon Key are both on the National Register of Historic Places; however, if the bridge is demolished, then Pigeon Key will fade into history with it, as there will be only water access. My company provided conceptual modeling in an effort to save the bridge and I have, literally, climbed all over this bridge with a tape measure and note pad. I also design commercial buildings. I can say without a doubt that the 100+ year old bridge steel is much stronger than bridges today and is WELL worth the restoration efforts. Please visit www.friendsofoldseven.org to read more about this historic structure and be a part of saving one of the greatest feats of American ingenuity still in existence. Thanks.
If you are interested in architecture and engineering and if bridges interest you for real, then you should definitely visit Seven Mile Bridge. Very well constructed and engineered.
The views you get are magnificent, the scenery artistic and the colors of the sea, just fabulous! One side you get to see the Gulf of Mexico and on the other the Atlantic.
Very interesting for photographers.
Beautiful and awesome views!!! Just don't get caught speeding, fine is ridiculous...
Made the trip via motorhome a few years back it is amazing! And Key west itself is beautiful.
It's beautiful there. Best scenic drive so far!
Everytime we drove on this bridge it brought me back to Jamie Lee Curtis' performance in the movie True Lies! What a spectacular view and amazing drive!
A totally rad drive, if you're lucky, and if you're a passenger, you might see dolphin.
Some of the conceptual models proposed for the preservation can be seen at: http://stdetailinganddesign.com/project-gallery.html as well as https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixDesignStudios
awesome place !!
been there many times but would love to go back
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Seven Mile Bridge
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