An alligator swims near the Tamiami Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida. Keith Michael Taylor /

Project to remove Everglades’ roadbed ‘dam’ by 2022 gets green light

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has awarded a contract to remove 5.5 miles of an elevated Tamiami Trail roadbed long cited as a “dam” that impedes Everglades’ sheet flow.

The roadbed removal is a component of the $3 billion Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), which includes the $1.6 billion Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project.

The roadbed, the original Tamiami Trail or U.S. 41 that is no longer used, is in Miami-Dade County south of the current U.S. 41 between the L-67 Extension Canal and Shark Valley Loop Road.

Removing the dike-like remnant is projected to increase the flow of freshwater into the Northeast Shark River Slough area of Everglades National Park, and eventually into Florida Bay to the south, by more than 220 billion gallons a year.

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