Everglades National Park (ENP) has completed a Memorandum to File to document minor design changes to Phase 2 of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps (TTNS) Project. Tamiami Trail, a historic roadway connecting Tampa and Miami, has long been recognized as a barrier that restricts water flows into ENP. This final phase of the TTNS project will work in combination with Phase 1, completed in April 2019, and the Central Everglades Planning Project to improve water conveyance, marsh connectivity, and sheetflow between Water Conservation Area 3A/3B north of Tamiami Trail, and the Northeast Shark River Slough (SRS) of ENP. The reconstructed roadway will also improve roadway stability throughout its 100-year lifespan and provide long-term reliable access to economically and culturally important sites for rural and tribal communities.
The National Park Service (NPS) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began the preliminary Phase 2 design process in 2019. In June 2019, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced it will grant $60 million to ENP through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects program to complete Phase 2 of the TTNS project. This federal funding matches a $43.5 million commitment announced by the State of Florida in November 2018. FDOT anticipates completing a design/build contract for Phase 2 by the middle of 2020. The project is expected to be substantially complete in 2024 and closed out in 2025.
Planning and compliance documents for the TTNS project are available in the Documents List at the left side of this page.
Background: The NPS completed the TTNS Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in 2010 and the Record of Decision (ROD) was published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2011. The selected plan was to add 5.5 miles of bridging to the 1-mile bridge then under construction and raise the balance of the 10.7-mile highway corridor (Alternative 6e in the FEIS).
In 2015, the NPS, FDOT and FHWA began collaborating on TTNS implementation. Phase 1 of the project was completed in April 2019 and included 2.3 miles of western bridging in addition to the previously constructed 1-mile eastern bridge completed during the Modified Water Deliveries project.
The NPS sponsored two inter-agency Value Analysis (VA) workshops in July 2018 and October 2019, to develop the most environmentally responsible and cost effective Phase 2 plan to achieve the TTNS purpose, need and objectives. The 2018 VA workshop recommend a modified Phase 2 plan, with no additional large bridges beyond the existing 3.3-miles of bridges, adding six 72-foot wide pre-cast concrete culverts, reconstructing/raising the roadway, and adding swales for water quality treatment.
The currently planned action is a design change resulting from the October 2019 VA workshop. Additional modifications to the Phase 2 Plan were added including: replacing the six proposed 72-foot wide culverts with 60-foot wide slab bridges; enlarging the swale system treatment capacity by 50% to meet the Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) designation for ENP; adding left turn lanes to improve traffic safety at the Coopertown and Gator Park commercial sites, the Airboat Association, and the Miccosukee Osceola Camp; and adding a new access lane, diagonal parking, retaining walls, and wider shoulders for improved safety at the Miccosukee Tigertail Camp.
A March 2020 environmental analysis of the Phase 2 Modified Plan determined that the benefits and impacts to natural and cultural resources will be essentially the same or less than the original plan, construction costs will be lowered by $118 million, and the construction duration will be shortened by 1.5 years.
To learn more about the importance of restoring water across Tamiami Trail for Everglades Restoration, see: https://www.nps.gov/articles/tamiami-trial-next-steps.htm
Everglades National Park
Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034-6733
For further information, contact:
Robert Johnson at 305-224-4240