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It Was Once Part Of The Everglades. Now Miami-Dade Wants To Use It For A Highway

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Miami Herald
Miami-Dade County wants to extend the Dolphin Expressway 13 miles across wetlands, shown here at the corner of Southwest 157th Avenue and the Tamiami Trail in 2012.

On the western fringes of Miami-Dade County, street after street of barrel-tiled houses squeezed within shouting distance of one another come to an abrupt stop at a marshy basin that was once part of the Shark River Slough.

The slough — the flowing heart of the Everglades' famed River of Grass — was supposed to be the boundary to what a county plan anointed Miami's "aggrandizing urban front."

But that front now threatens to march farther into the marsh. Miami-Dade County is pursuing a $650 million plan to extend the Dolphin Expressway, a logjam of a highway counted among the 50 worst in the U.S. The proposed path would pave a 13-mile-long stretch somewhere through the sprawling wetlands, formally known as the Bird Drive Basin.

While county transportation planners are still trying to nail down the exact path — Thursday evening County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that the road had shifted another third of a mile west — the proposal is drawing opposition from both environmental groups and smart growth advocates. Expressway officials on Friday said the latest route had not yet been posted on the project website and did not respond to a request for a copy.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald