Watch CBS News

Trump Administration, Florida Advance Final Phase Of Everglades Restoration Project

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The Trump Administration announced Wednesday the awarding of a contract to allow for the second and final phase of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project to begin.

Officials said that the Florida Department of Transportation awarded the contract to General Asphalt Jones Benitez Joint Venture.

Here is what officials said about the project:

"The $200 million Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project represents a new approach to collaboration between federal and state agencies by merging funding and expertise to achieve important regional transportation, sustainability, and Everglades restoration goals all in one project."

"Phase 2 of the project will focus on raising and reconstructing the remaining 6.7 miles of the eastern Tamiami Trail with features to further improve water conveyance, roadway safety, and stormwater treatment. Construction on Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in November 2020."

"The granting of this award is an exciting milestone in the completion of such a critical project for Everglades restoration," said Margaret Everson, Counselor to the Secretary, exercising the delegated authority of the National Park Service Director. "This step is a wonderful example of how collaboration and coordination with our partners sets the stage for long-term restoration efforts."

"From day one of my administration, Everglades restoration has been a top priority and today's announcement is another major step forward in this critical mission," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "The final phase of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps project will allow for more clean water to be sent south to revitalize Florida Bay and improve the quality of our state's waterways. I thank the Trump Administration for their ongoing support of not only our nation's Everglades but also our larger goal to improve and protect all of Florida's valuable water resources."

"This announcement is welcomed news and demonstrates our continued progress in restoring America's Everglades," said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. "The raising of the Tamiami Trail is a crucial step towards achieving the goals of Everglades restoration, and will significantly increase the volume of water that can be sent south in order to rehydrate Everglades National Park and restore estuarine conditions in Florida Bay. I am grateful for the Trump Administration's commitment to our nation's Everglades and I look forward to the completion of this project, which I have advocated for."

"I applaud the Trump Administration's continued commitment to our environment with progress on this critical project," said U.S. Senator Rick Scott. "This builds on my efforts as Governor to fund the Tamiami Trail Modification Next Step Phase I and champion significant funding for the Everglades, and my urging of federal funding for Phase II as Senator. I look forward to continuing this strong federal-state partnership to finish the Tamiami Trail and help preserve Florida's historic Everglades National Park for generations to come."

"Tamiami Trail Next Steps is a historic project that will inevitably help preserve Florida's environment into the future," said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. "Restoring the Everglades is critical to protecting the health and quality of our state's unique environment, and the department is thankful for the support of the Trump Administration as well as Governor DeSantis, who has made this project a priority throughout his administration."

"This marks the last milestone toward the completion of the Tamiami Trail project. Directing more water south from Lake Okeechobee is key to Everglades restoration and projects like Tamiami Trail Next Steps are an integral part of that effort," said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. "Thank you to the Trump Administration, Governor DeSantis and our dedicated partners for accelerating our efforts to complete this critical project."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.