Gov. Rick Scott announced today that he will dedicate $90 million over the next three years to draw down federal matching funds to build a 2.5 mile bridge along the Tamiami Trail in Miami to reduce water flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.
Scientists have identified the need to reduce water flows from the lake as crucial to repairing the damaged ecosystem that 7 million Floridians depend on for water. The existing bridge on the Tamiami Trail blocks water flow from Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades and the money would go into the Department of Transportation to build a new bridge.
The project would deconstruct a section of the berm that Tamiami Trail road is currently built on, and replace it with a bridge so that water north of the road could flow into the Everglades, providing needed water to the Everglades National Park, the governor's office said. The end effect would be to keep more high nutrient water from entering the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.
“This $90 million investment will be a huge step forward in our efforts to restore water quality throughout South Florida,'' Scott said in a statement. "Every drop of water that we can send South and keep out of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries is a win for Florida families. My message to families being impacted is that we will not give up on you. We are putting forward strategies each and every day to address the water quality issues that are impacting families in our state.”