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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A disputed 13-mile extension of the Dolphin Expressway in Miami-Dade County is set to go before the Florida Cabinet next week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the Cabinet, sitting as the state Administration Commission, will take up a March 2020 recommended order by Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk.

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The recommended order said a comprehensive plan amendment adopted for the road by the Miami-Dade County Commission did not comply with state law and was possibly incompatible with efforts to protect the Everglades.

Van Wyk issued the recommended order after the comprehensive-plan change drew challenges from parties including Tropical Audubon Society.

Opponents have alleged, in part, that the project would affect some of the most-imperiled wetlands in the Everglades, including nesting and foraging habitats for threatened and endangered species, and that the plan fails to discourage the proliferation of urban sprawl.

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In a July 2020 response to the recommended order, Miami-Dade County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams argued that “contrary to petitioners’ contention, the county did in fact consider the impact of the new corridor on the (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program.)”

The prioritization of the roadway extension was part of a controversial state transportation bill (HB 385) that DeSantis signed into law in 2019.

The law focused on the future of the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority.

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