Rose Key lies at the center of a privately held archipelago in Monroe County, Florida, located a few miles north of the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. The island chain and surrounding waters boast a storied past, from the discovery of Biscayne Bay by Ponce de Leon to the CIA using Rose Key as a safe house and training area. More recently, the popular 1980s TV show, Miami Vice, used Rose Key as a film location. Rose Key was named in honor of Rose Zumpano, a long-time South Florida philanthropist, who loved to share with others the wonders of the Florida Keys.
IMM Quality Boat Lifts has been fortunate enough to be involved with many of the island’s marine construction projects. Our very first project involved some of the island’s unique history. The CIA built a marine railway to launch watercraft into the island’s southern channel and over the years, it had become inoperable. We repaired the concrete structure, supplemented the steel rails with aluminum rails, upgraded the machinery and customized the shuttle to accommodate the Rose Key’s Carolina skiff. These projects were standard fare for a boat lift manufacturer of our size and caliber, but the following projects will highlight the design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities no other boat lift company possesses.
When you have an amazing client like the Zumpano family, you often get asked to take on projects that are outside your normal product line. The family wanted to repair a skyway to provide access from the compound’s center to the southeast tip of their barrier island. Their Rose Key Skyway would cross the horseshoe-shaped canal system that encircles the main island. They wanted a retractable span to cross the canal that would be installed as a seamless part of the Rose Key Skyway.
So, IMM Quality Boat Lifts built them a Vlotburg span and decked it to match the walkway. Below you can see the Vlotburg under construction and a video showing how easy the span is to retract by hand.
The Rose Key Skyway was the project that tested our manufacturing capacity. We needed to manufacture thousands of feet of aluminum handrailing. Some of the handrailing was manufactured on an angle to deal with changes in elevation. Below, you can see the Rose Key Skyway under construction, some of the engineered sections, the completed Skyway, and finally, a drone video that highlights the magnitude and scope of the Rose Key Skyway aluminum handrail project.
The Rose Key Skyway was designed to terminate with a gazebo and terminal dock. The family needed railing around the dock, along with some gates. We designed some aluminum columns with a stainless-steel cable railing system to accomplish this project. Below are some photos of an engineered rendering of the gazebo, the gates and the gazebo under construction.
Now, after many months, the work on the Rose Key Skyway is complete! IMM Boat Lifts successfully refurbished the skyway from the center of the Rose Key compound to the dock at the property’s perimeter.
Originally Posted: January 22, 2021
Updated: July 9, 2021