U.S. Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West named an All-American Road
The Overseas Highway, a portion of U.S. Highway 1 that spans the Florida Keys from north of Key Largo to Key West, recently was named an All-American Road by federal transportation officials.
The highway is the only Florida road to achieve All-American status, the highest recognition possible under the National Scenic Byways program established by the U.S. Congress in 1991. Only 30 other roadways in the nation have earned the prestigious designation.
Originally completed in 1938, the Overseas Highway incorporates 42 bridges over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. They include the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon, which stretches 6.79 miles across open water and was referred to on its completion as “the eighth wonder of the world.”
In 1982, 37 of the original bridges including the Seven Mile Bridge were replaced with wider spans. Many of the old bridges still can be seen running alongside the newer ones.
To earn All-American Road status, a thoroughfare must possess characteristics of national significance and one-of-a-kind features, making it a visitor destination in itself. Designation also is based on a roadway’s cultural, historic, natural, recreational, scenic and archeological qualities.
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