Overseas Railway Linking The Florida Keys To The Mainland Is Completed
On January 22, 1912, the nearly twenty thousand residents of the city of Key West, Florida, located on a small island some 128 miles south of the Florida peninsula, observed the completion of an overseas rail connection to the mainland.
The Florida East Coast Railway served the island until 1935, when it was destroyed by a hurricane. It was replaced in 1938 by the Overseas Highway, built on the foundation of the old railroad bed. This system of forty-two bridges, which connects the Florida Keys to the mainland, is one of the longest over-water roads in the world
The Keys were long accessible only by water. This changed with the completion of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway in the early 1910s. Flagler, a major developer of Florida's Atlantic coast, extended his Florida East Coast Railway down to Key West with an ambitious series of over-sea railroad trestles.