Friday, December 7, 2012

Florida Keys Bridge #21 Pigeon Key Bridge

Pigeon Key Bridge
December 7, 2012, Rob Hickman, Keith Nelson

Day #4 Supplemental Ride time 47:22, 4.14 miles, average 5.24 mph

Sunset Grille & Raw Bar (with Seven Mile Bridge)
December 7, 2012, Rob Hickman, Keith Nelson

Keys Fisheries Market & Marina, Marathon, Fl
December 7, 2012, Rob Hickman, Keith Nelson


Pigeon Key Ramp
NBI Structure Number: 904480
Location: Monroe County, Florida
Feature Carried: Ramp
Feature Crossed: Pigeon Key
Year Built: 1938
Type: Beam
Subtype: Wooden trestle
Recognition: Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Length: 317 ft
Builder or Contractor: B. M. Duncan (Chief Engineer)
Sufficiency: 2%
Status: Closed to vehicular traffic in 2008, in use for pedestrians, future uncertain
Pigeon Key, only two to three acres in area (depending on the tides), was developed as a work camp during construction of the original Seven Mile Bridge. Once construction was completed, the island became a bridge tender / maintenance camp. The swing span of the Seven Mile Bridge was nearby. After the Great Hurricane of 1935, the Florida East Cost Railroad throughout the keys was converted to a toll highway run by the Overseas Toll and Bridge District (OTBD). OTBD took ownership of Pigeon Key, converting the key to its headquarters. The conversion, completed in 1938, included this wooden ramp to the island. Tolls were removed in 1954 and the OTBD was dissolved. After various other uses, Pigeon Key is now operated as a museum and historical site. Due to deterioration in the Old Seven Mile Bridge to Knights Key (Marathon), the Pigeon Key Ramp was closed to vehicular traffic in 2008. It is still open to pedestrians.
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