FIU student designs to refurbish Keys bridge

Headline Goes Here

MARATHON, Fla. - Florida International University architectural students have completed a three-month program, creating designs to refurbish a portion of the historic old Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys.

Anna Drescher of Reading, Penn., placed first Friday among 15 graduate students for her entry featuring interactive panels telling the history of the Keys and the century-old bridge. Tidal currents beneath the bridge would hydro-power the panels.

Although replaced by a new Seven Mile Bridge in 1982, the old bridge continues to connect Marathon with Pigeon Key, a tiny island that was base camp for workers who built Henry Flagler's railroad.

In 2007, state transportation officials deemed the old span unsafe for vehicles and subsequently closed it to fishermen.

The Friends of Old Seven organization is seeking $15 million to save the bridge.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.