The original Seven Mile Bridge, built in 1909-1912 by Henry Flagler.
Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
Years: 1993-1997 (as advocates); 1998 to present (as consultants)
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails (2005); Monroe County (2000); Clean Florida Keys, Inc. (1998)
Florida Park Service; Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails; Village of Isla Morada; City of Marathon; City of Key West; Clean Florida Keys, Inc.; Borrelli + Partners, Inc.
Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Concept Plan; Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail Master Plan; Fishing Platform Outreach; Safety and Trail Improvement Brochure
At the turn of the century, Henry Flagler determined to build a railroad, connecting the Florida Keys for the first time in history. Over 156 miles in length and spanning over 36 bridges, this historical route, which terminates at the southernmost point of the continental U.S., will once again majestically connect the keys in the form of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail providing safe, non-motorized connections between homes, businesses and schools, providing a safe place for recreation, and acting as an economic stimulus for adjacent businesses. As of 2008, most of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail is in design, with 60 miles of existing bike paths along the project's route. Forty miles of new trail are scheduled for construction in the coming years.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has advocated for this visionary trail since 1993. Beginning in 1998 RTC was hired as a consultant and has helped secure funding, partnered on concept and master plans, gained political and community support, and conducted community outreach. Portions of the trail are complete and $36 million in funding is available for project completion.