Removal of old Tamiami Trail roadbed complete as Everglades restoration continues

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Removal of 5.5 miles of the old Tamiami Trail roadbed was completed ahead of schedule and will improve the flow of water into the southern Everglades, a critical ecosystem. (Credit: SFWMD)

Another milestone has been reached toward the restoration of the Everglades.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced removal of the old Tamiami Trail roadbed is complete, months ahead of schedule.

The Everglades are the heartbeat of Florida’s environment, and that heartbeat has been in poor health for years. Now, it’s on the road to recovery.

“Sitting here six months ago, looking at a road that was built over a century ago and completed in 1928, and it’s hard to find anything that’s older than me,” said Ronald “Alligator Ron” Bergeron Sr., a member of the South Florida Water Management District governing board.

“For 100 years, this strip of asphalt, this strip of asphalt and its successor here, decapitated, decapitated the flow of water south into Everglades National Park and to America’s Everglades,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation.

Now that the road is gone, DeSantis believes it’s a win-win for the Everglades and our coasts.

“Removing barriers to move water south benefits the Everglades and restoration of its critical ecosystem and helps to protect the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries from harmful discharges,” he said.

Credit: SFWMD

But by no means is the Everglades restoration complete.

“This is one of our many restoration initiatives like the EAA reservoir focus on improving water quality and restoring the hydrology and ecology of the greater Everglades ecosystem,” said Shawn Hamilton, interim secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

A better ecosystem means a stronger heartbeat in the Everglades, which protects all of Florida’s environment and our economy.

The state celebrated the finish of the Kissimmee River restoration project last week.

DeSantis said it restores historic flows in the headwaters of the Everglades.

Watch a replay of the press conference below or click here.

SFWMD explains old Tamiami Trail roadbed removal project

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