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.
"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."