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Apr 22, 4:48 PM EDT

Feds lay out plans for Everglades bridge to boost water flow


MIAMI (AP) -- Federal officials say they will soon begin the next phase of a multimillion-dollar project to erect a bridge across the Everglades in South Florida.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewel announced plans to raise a two-and-half mile section of U.S. 41 during a visit Friday to Everglades National Park. She was joined by several members of Congress, including Democratic Rep.'s Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Patrick Murphy, and Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

Jewell says the Tamiami Trail Bridge project, among the National Park Service's biggest conservation efforts, will return water flows to more historic levels and sustain the Everglades sensitive ecosystem.

Bridge construction first began in 2009 with the building of a one-mile bridge. It was finished in 2013. The latest portion, costing $144 million, is to be done by 2020.

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