For the past three months, Friends of Old Seven has set up a booth from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at the north end of the bridge to garner support. They take donations for the bridge and for bridge souvenirs, as well as soliciting people to sign a petition to save the bridge.
Sergio Blengini and Margherita Bruno of Italy jogged and walked the length of the bridges main section, passing Dille as he sat in his chair. They said they learned about the bridge on Lonely Planet. The bridge attracts international travels from all over the world, according to data collected by Friends of Old Seven.
But many people miss the entrance to the old Seven Mile Bridge, which is poorly marked on the right side of U.S. 1 just before the new Seven Mile Bridge. Several of the architecture students said they missed the entrance and had to drive the 14 miles roundtrip on the new Seven Mile Bridge.
Brad White, the bridge effort manager for Friends of Old Seven, said he sees many people make illegal and dangerous U-turns upon missing the entrance. One time I saw a truck towing a big boat stop traffic and then back up, he said. That was scary, but I guess they really wanted to see the old bridge.
Spinrad said his group also has been working on a practical design of their own that will make the old Seven Mile Bridge a world-class tourist attraction. It includes building plaza type spaces on the bridge for events such as art festivals or farmers markets and building a fixed rail for Henry the Trolley, which stopped running in 2008 when the state closed the bridge to all vehicle traffic. Private vehicle traffic was banned in 2002.
The bridge is worth preserving, Sprinrad said. And I dont think it will take a super human effort if we can get the political establishment behind it.