Dolphin Expressway Expanding into Protected Everglades Wetlands
Miami-Dade County has recently approved an expansion of the Dolphin Expressway into protected Everglades wetlands. Noise pollution, light pollution, and motor vehicle exhaust are only the beginning of the effects the 6-lane behemoth will bring to the once-protected wetland area.
Marjory Douglas once said "The Everglades is a test. If we pass it, we get to keep the planet." Our Everglades provide us with tourism income, flooding and hurricane buffer, and precious natural ecosystems that have been wiped out in other parts of the world. Approving construction on this project is a step in the wrong direction, we are failing the test.
Beyond environmental impacts, the already-congested South Florida highway system will be further strained for years of development. So the real question is: why? Taking into account all of the negatives that this $1 billion expansion entails, there is no excusing development of this type.
Ecologically sustainable highway construction practices benefit the urban traffic flow, environmental health, and local communities. Ignoring the immediate environmental cost and enduring legacy of such a decision comes as no surprise from a local government with a history of deciding in favor of unnecessary and irresponsible expansion.
Somehow, the budget is too tight when decisions need to be made about public transportation expansions in South Florida but there is always more money for “another sexy highway”. Induced demand caused by impulsive expansion floods our streets with further congestion and rather than answer it with more public transportation options, we continue the cycle.
Expand, overcrowd, expand, repeat.
When will local government realize that decisions made today have an immediate and long-term impact?
If protected lands’ borders are continuously pushed back, what will become of our last remaining natural spaces?
At the end of the day, average people have the ability to counteract major actions like this through our everyday decisions. Voting with our dollar for renewable materials and responsible building practices makes a difference little by little.
If you want to feel good about the lasting impact of your commercial or residential construction project, contact Castor Construction Group now to find out how you can build with the future in mind.
Thanks to Transit Alliance Miami for providing the above graphic of the proposed expansion.