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MARATHON, Fla. (CBSMiami) — Florida International University (FIU) students are refurbishing the historic Seven Mile Bridge.

Well, not exactly.

The Miami-based university’s architectural students have completed a three-month program, creating designs to refurbish a portion of the Keys bridge.

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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