The L-28 isn’t your normal levee.
It’s in the middle of nowhere …
With swamp as far as the eye can see on both sides.
The original plan, back in the 1960s when it was built, was to convey water on the righthand side (i.e. east) of the levee and convey land for everything on the lefthand side of the levee (i.e west), clear to Naples. Or in other words, everything to the west was slated and subdivided for development.
That plan fizzled when The Jetport got nixed.
A vast area of the Big Cypress Swamp got conserved as a result.
A campfire ramble about the L-28
Complicating matters even more still …
The levee was never built as originally planned. It was only during construction that engineers discovered that water was flowing the “wrong way” from the Big Cypress into the Everglades. That meant the levee couldn’t be continuous. So they left a 7.5 gap.
Nor was it ever completed.
The Tieback was supposed to extend another 2-3 miles to the 10.5 ft topographic contour line. To the south, the levees (and canal) were supposed to extend another 20 miles in length. The L-28 is stuck in the no man’s land of never being completed as designed and its original design being obsolete.
Minor modifications have been made to it over time.
For example, three structures (S-343s and S-344), three breaks in the Tieback and six plugs in the canal were added in 1983 following the sopping winter El Nino rains. Those same plugs were reconstructed in 2016 following a similar El Niño event, along with bringing in four emergency pumps that were used in record wet season of 2017 and most recently the deluge from Eta. Water managers have their sights on the L-28 as a part of an Everglades Restoration Plan. That could result in more changes to a levee that some say never should have been built.
The ultimately irony to the L-28 is this:
- Just years after it was built it became obsolete.
- Fifty years later, other than a few minor tweaks, it’s never been changed.
Yet somewhere along the way it became the status quo.