New Bridge in Everglades Opens

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. (AP) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was on hand at the opening of a new $81 million bridge intended to increase water flowing into Everglades National Park.

The one-mile bridge is along Tamiami Trial in Miami-Dade County. Salazar said Tuesday it's one of the largest construction projects in National Park Service history.

Officials say the bridge will increase water flow by 92 percent into northeast Shark River Slough. The project also will boost the amount of water in some 104,000 acres of the eastern section of the park and make the flow reflect natural seasonal depth changes.

The bridge project was approved in 2000 but encountered a series of planning and legal challenges. Officials say construction sped up after an infusion of federal stimulus money.

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