Old Tamiami Trail roadbed removal project completed ahead of schedule

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Tuesday morning at the Shark Valley Visitor Center in Miami-Dade County, at which time he announced the completion of the Old Tamiami Trail roadbed removal project, which wasn’t scheduled to be done until January.

The governor said nearly 6 miles of the roadbed have been removed, allowing clean water to move south into northeast Shark River Slough.

The raised road, which was constructed nearly a century ago, cut through the Everglades and acted as a dam, blocking the natural flow of water south toward Everglades National Park.

WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis holds news conference at Shark Valley Visitor Center

The roadbed removal allows billions of gallons of water to once again flow south.

The project was part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, (CERP), which the National Park Service says was authorized by Congress in 2000 to “restore, preserve, and protect the South Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region, including water supply and flood protection.”

As part of the project, a total of 10.7 miles of Tamiami Trail in the Everglades is either being replaced by a bridge or elevated.

The CERP is the largest hydrologic restoration project ever undertaken in the U.S. and is costing more than $10.5 billion with a 35+ year timeline.

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