Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys
© Evgeny Vasenev/Cavan Image
On the open ocean road. Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys
Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy industrialist, Henry Flagler, who embarked on the herculean task of creating an overseas railway connecting mainland Florida to Key West. When it opened in 1912, it was dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World. However, the triumph was short-lived. It was hit by a hurricane on Labour Day, 1935, and the railroad discontinued operations. The railway was sold to the US government and rebuilt as an automobile highway, opening in 1938.
These days, the Overseas Highway still stretches about 113 miles through the Florida Keys over 42 bridges, which jump from island to island over the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the original bridges were replaced in 1982, including the longest, the Seven Mile Bridge, pictured in the distance in our homepage image. Drivers crossing the Overseas Highway can still see remnants of some of the old bridges running alongside their replacements, including the Old Seven Mile Bridge, a section of which was renovated for cyclists and pedestrians. An engineering marvel, the ‘highway that goes to sea' has also featured in blockbusters like 'Licence to Kill' and 'True Lies.'