Commissioners Approve Restoration of Seven Mile Bridge in Florida Keys

The 30-year project is expected to cost $77 million.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Monroe County Commissioners approved an agreement Wednesday that would restore a large section of the historic Florida Keys' Seven Mile Bridge. NBC 6's Hank Tester has the story. (Published Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014)

    Monroe County Commissioners approved an agreement Wednesday that would restore a large section of the historic Florida Keys' Seven Mile Bridge.

    Commissioners ratified an agreement between the state's Department of Transportation, the county and the City of Marathon that would provide funding to restore and maintain a 2.2-mile section of the bridge.

     The Florida Department of Transportation will pick up 75 percent of the $77 million tab for the 30-year project. The refurbished section will be designed to hold vehicles up to 17 tons.

    "Folks come from all over the world to see this iconic structure," said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi. "It's utilized by more than 100,000 people every year for walking and biking. We think it's a good investment."


    The Seven Mile Bridge dates back more than a 100 years, when it was constructed for Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad. It was converted for automobiles in 1938 and was replaced by a new Seven Mile Bridge in 1982.

    The old bridge was turned into a fishing pier and walking area but years of wear and tear have taken their toll.