MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) – The state has issued a permit to remove a 5.45-mile section of roadbed along the Tamiami Trail that is considered an impediment to the natural flow of water through the Everglades.
As plans proceed to raise a section of the 91-year-old road, the permit issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is expected to allow the roadbed removal to begin next spring. The work is expected to be completed in 2021.
“The removal of this stretch of roadbed will help move water south and restore important wetland habitats,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a prepared statement.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein added, “Moving water through the Everglades National Park is critical for wildlife, supports the Florida Bay ecosystem, and helps reduce discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries from Lake Okeechobee.”
In June, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao advised state officials that $60 million had been given to the National Park Service to elevate a 6.5-mile section of the roadway, located between two bridges, west of Miami. Tamiami Trail, or U.S. 41, crosses the Everglades and forms part of the northern border of Everglades National Park.
Environmentalists have argued the road has dammed the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee through the Everglades to Florida Bay.
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