© 2021 WLRN
MIAMI | SOUTH FLORIDA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Old Seven Mile Bridge To Close For Almost A Year

old_seven_mile_bridge_from_below.jpg
Nancy Klingener
/
WLRN
Access to the old Seven Mile Bridge span from Knight's Key will be off limits for nine months.

  The old Seven Mile Bridge hasn't carried car traffic since 1982.

But the span from Knight's Key to Pigeon Key has become a kind of linear park for the Middle Keys, offering spectacular sunset views.

old_seven_mile_bridge_to_park.jpg
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN
/
WLRN
The project will include improvements to the Knight's Key area that leads to the bridge, including new ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, picnic pavilions and seawall improvements.

  "We're fortunate to be able to have the bridge that we can walk out on," said Leslie Christensen of Marathon. "It think it attracts a lot of tourists and a lot of people like to come and take pictures. It's a real iconic part of Marathon."

But the bridge will be closed, starting Tuesday, July 5, for nine months. That's when a construction project to improve the pedestrian underpasses will begin. The project will also revamp the parking lot at the end of the bridge and add a picnic pavilion and improved seawall below.

The $1.98 million project is expected to last until April, said Alex Baader, senior inspector with AE Engineering.

"All the people involved want to get it done as quick as possible," he said. "The locals are going to love it."

seven_mile_old_and_new.jpg
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN
/
WLRN
The old Seven Mile Bridge, right, was built by Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway. It was replaced in 1982 by the current bridge, left.