Judge Lifts Injunction, Clearing Way for Everglades Restoration
Twenty years after Congress mandated improved water flow in the Everglades, a federal judge has removed a major obstacle to accomplishing that goal: Judge Ursula Ungaro of the Florida Southern District Court in Miami lifted her injunction on elevating one mile of U.S. Rte. 41, the Tamiami Trail. Construction of the highway in the early 1920s blocked the sheetflow of water across the ecosystem, precipitating a long-term decline of the Everglades. The Interior Dept. last year made the project a top priority. But in November, the Miccosukee Tribe won the injunction, claiming that Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to perform environmental studies left the region exposed to flooding. The Corps suspended bidding on the $212-million project when the injunction was imposed. The agency will now restart the process and plans to begin construction in October.