MARATHON, Fla. — A segment of a 110-year-old Florida Keys bridge has reopened to pedestrians and bicyclists following a $44 million restoration project.
Rehabilitation construction on the oft-photographed 2.2-mile span of the Old Seven Mile Bridge began in late 2017.
Nicknamed “Old Seven,” the iconic bridge had an integral role in Florida history. It was completed in 1912 as part of Henry Flagler’s Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad that connected the Keys with each other and mainland Florida.
In 1938, the railroad bridge was converted to carry automobiles. In 1982, the new Seven Mile Bridge debuted alongside the historic one, whose steel swing span, that facilitated marine traffic between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, was removed.
The portion of the old bridge that connected the city of Marathon to Pigeon Key was converted to a pedestrian bridge before being deemed unsafe in 2016.