- Seven Mile Bridge
bridge_name= Seven Mile Bridge
caption= Location of the Seven Mile Bridge
carries= 2 lanes of US 1
Florida Department of Transportation
design= precast segmented
box girder bridge
mainspan= 41.15 meters (135 ft)
length= 10887.5 meters (6.765 miles)
width= 11.58 meters (38 ft)
below= 19.81 meter (65 ft)
The Seven Mile Bridge, in the
Florida Keys, runs over a channel between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait, connecting Knight's Key(part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Keyin the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.
There are two bridges in this location. The older bridge, originally known as the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, was constructed from 1909-1912 under the direction of
Henry Flagleras part of the Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension, also known as the Overseas Railroad.
This bridge was badly damaged by the
Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, and subsequently refurbished by the United States Federal Government as an automobile highwaybridge. It had a swing span that opened to allow passage of boat traffic, near where the bridge crosses Pigeon Key, a small island where a work camp for Flagler's railroad was located. Hurricane Donnain 1960 caused further damage.
The present road bridge was constructed from 1979 to 1982. The vast majority of the original bridge still exists, used as
fishing piers and access to Pigeon Key, but the swing span over the Moser Channelof the Intracoastal Waterwayhas been removed.
The new bridge is a box-girder structure built from precast, prestressed
concretesections, comprising 440 spans. Near the center, the bridge rises in an arc to provide convert|65|ft|m|sing=on-high clearance for boat passage. The remainder of the bridge is considerably closer to the water surface. The new bridge does not cross Pigeon Key.
The total length of the bridge is actually convert|35862|ft|m|abbr=on or 6.79 miles (10.93 km).
The spectacular bridge has attracted many film makers. Its film 'credits' include scenes in
True Lies, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Licence to Killand Up Close & Personal. In "True Lies", filmed in the early 1990s, a section of the old bridge is shown being destroyed by missilestrikes. The missiles were edited in, and the explosions were done on an 80-foot (24 m) model of the bridge, but filming was done on the actual bridge, and the "destroyed" section is the former swing span, which had been removed upon completion of the new bridge. The former swing span of the bridge was also seen in the soap opera " Guiding Light", when Reva Shaynedrove off the bridge and supposedly killed herself in 1990.
Each April the bridge is closed for approximately 2.5 hours on a Saturday and a "fun run," known as the Seven Mile Bridge Run, of 1,500 runners is held commemorating the
Florida Keysbridge rebuilding project. The event began in 1982 to commemorate the completion of a federally funded bridge building program that replaced spans that oil tycoon Henry Flaglerconstructed in the early 1900s to serve as a foundation for his Overseas Railroad.
*Structurae|id=s0003558|title=Knight's Key Bridge (1912)
*Structurae|id=s0003559|title=Pigeon Key Bridge (1912)
*Structurae|id=s0003560|title=Moser Channel Bridge (1912)
*Structurae|id=s0003561|title=Pacet Channel Viaduct (1912)
*Structurae|id=s0003695|title=Seven Mile Bridge (1982)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.