Loop Road Environmental Assessment
Contact: Damon Doumlele, 239-695-1158
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the rehabilitation and repair of approximately 16.53 miles of Loop Road within Big Cypress National Preserve. The proposed project area includes approximately 5 miles of paved and 11.53 miles of gravel road. This road provides access to the Everglades Environmental Education Center and is used by many visitors each year. The road is also the only access route for some Preserve inholders.
Loop Road has been in disrepair for approximately 5 years and the National Park Service is pleased to be getting close to the completion of the planning, design, and compliance phase required prior to commencing a project like this. The EA describes a no-action and a preferred alternative. Under the no-action alternative, no repairs would be made, whereas the preferred alternative would involve repairing washed-out sections, replacing existing pavement, installing new culverts, and replacing damaged culverts. There would be no paving of gravel sections or changes in road width. The proposed actions for the entire 16.53-mile project would take place within the previously disturbed roadway area.
The EA is available for review at the NPS Planning, Environment, & Public Comment website (click here). You may submit your comments on the website or mail them to Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida 34141-1000. Comments will be accepted through October 22, 2010.
Did You Know?
Airboats are one of the approved ways to access remote areas of Big Cypress National Preserve. Remember, all off-road vehicle access requires a valid permit, and visitors operating ORVs need to know the legal areas they can operate.