How bog mats helped build Alligator Alley
Writing for Florida Weekly, Evan Williams explains that a 75-mile stretch of state road opened in 1968 with just a single lane running in each direction. The route was dubbed Alligator Alley by critics concerned about its impact on local wildlife – but in the years since, work has been carried out to ensure the road helps, rather than harms, its surrounding environment.
In 1993 the two-lane road was widened to four lanes, allowing overtaking with less risk of slipping off the side and into the swamp. Bridges have been added to allow wildlife to pass under the road at places where panthers were previously known to cross the carriageway. And the construction of the road may even have helped to manage the flow of water through the Everglades as a whole, Mr Williams writes.
All of this is the result of sending draglines out into the swamp on bog mats, before using dynamite to clear the original route for the road, which will celebrate its official half-centenary in 2018.