Old Florida Keys bridge reopens to pedestrians, bicyclists

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A phase of a 110-yr-outdated Florida Keys bridge is reopening to pedestrians and bicyclists on Wednesday next a $44 million restoration task.

Rehabilitation building on the oft-photographed 2.2-mile (3.5-km) span of the Outdated Seven Mile Bridge began in late 2017.

“What produced the job complicated was that it is a historic bridge, and we experienced to restore the bridge to the similar aesthetic cloth as the original,” said job supervisor Tony Sabbag, a Florida Division of Transportation contractor.

Nicknamed “Old 7,” the bridge was completed in 1912 as part of Henry Flagler’s Florida Keys About-Sea Railroad that linked the Keys with each individual other and mainland Florida. The span is the gateway to historic Pigeon Essential, a small island beneath it that as soon as housed 400 railroad design personnel.

In 1938, the railroad bridge was transformed to carry cars. In 1982, the new 7 Mile Bridge, in fact 6.79 miles (10.9 kilometers) lengthy, debuted alongside the historic 1, whose steel swing span that facilitated maritime targeted traffic concerning the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico was eradicated.

The retired “Old Seven” became a well-known recreation region and appeared in many films like “True Lies,” a 1994 motion-comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Wednesday’s late early morning ribbon-slicing ceremony will be the crowning second of a 30-12 months, $77 million arrangement inked in 2013 among Monroe County, the Metropolis of Marathon and the Florida Office of Transportation. That settlement funded restoration and upkeep to preserve the legendary landmark shown on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

“The Previous Seven Mile Bridge is significant to the Keys, the background of the Keys and a viaduct to get to Pigeon Important,” claimed Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi.

Restoration incorporated structural metal and bridge joint program repairs, new decking, pedestrian and bicycle handrails and other enhancements.

Information Gaffer