We spend 1 day travelling 41 to view all the gators and other wildlife. I love photography and got some great photos. There were alligators everywhere and it was”look,but don’t touch”! The safer option is to stop as quickly as you can and avoid swerving. It’s a felony for anyone who isn’t licensed to take and handle alligator eggs. In winter, especially, they line the tram trail at Shark Valley (ENP) and it’s safe for hikers and bikers to stop and take pictures. I have seen a lot up near the Kennedy Space Center. I’ve been across Florida’s Route 75 — the famous “Alligator Alley” — many times and I’ve never seen an alligator. Loop Road is great and I can hardly wait to get back out there and hike some of the trails off it. Just don’t get too close to the gators Robyn! I’m not a big fan myself. Is loop road the actual highway 41 or is it a rod off of 41? I’m glad you enjoyed it Carla, and that it brought back good memories. But it is hoped that these more drastic steps are not necessary to get drivers to react. Interstate 75 (I-75) is a part of the Interstate Highway System and runs from the Hialeah–Miami Lakes border, a few miles northwest of Miami, to Sault Ste. But when you get to see them from the safety of your car on this real Alligator Alley, your attitude changes a bit. I agree with Roger. © 2020 COPYRIGHT SCRANTON GILLETTE COMMUNICATIONS. I will make that trip. Also saw a sign warning of black panthers if you were to break down to stay in your vehicle. I know that not everyone likes alligators. The visitor centre offers exhibits and programmes and a 15-mile loop road leads to a t observation tower. We were just there in January. Have fun! The first time I crossed Alligator Alley was over 60 years ago. I see them in St. Pete all of the time. They are extremely fast and 20 feet from a dead stop in seconds. Not only can feeding an alligator put you in harm’s way, but it can teach the alligator to approach people. If anyone thinks the drive is boring, they don’t know anything about the River of Grass, and the unique beauty of the Everglades that is being destroyed by cattle ranchers, big sugar and real estate moguls. One crossing the road which backed up traffic for about 15 minutes and another laying on the side of the road that a driver had hit. But if it is lying in the middle of the road not moving or appearing to have no intention of moving, drive around it if there is room and no oncoming traffic. [12] Construction on the bypass segment of I-75 began in 1979. Oh my God – you’re coming back????!!!! It would reach Alligator Alley in Naples by 1984. Planning to extend the Interstate south to Miami began in 1968 after massive growth in Southwest Florida, which resulted in I-75 being realigned to travel on the eastern fringes of the Tampa Bay area, and the last portion of the highway was opened in 1993. [14], As a two-lane road, Alligator Alley suffered from poor construction and environmental planning. This is the iffy month since the weather has already turned hot in South Florida but the water may not have warmed yet. The South Florida Wildlife Center, an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States, notes that drivers can also contact their local police department, wildlife rehabilitation center, animal control agency or Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) office for assistance. The trip home proved to be uneventful. In the crystal-clear waters little fish darted about in the shadows of ferns that cascaded over the bank. If you go then, you’re forced to creep along in your car at 3-4 miles per hour, slowly and arduously weaving about large craters in the road. From St. Petersburg, I-75 was proposed to continue south over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and continue south along a new freeway roughly parallel to the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) along the lower Gulf Coast to Naples. But in either of those road they’re relatively far away. [8], Due to major growth in Southwest Florida (particularly Fort Myers and Naples), it was becoming clear that this part of the state would soon need a freeway. Alligator nests look like large piles of dirt and vegetation and are most often seen throughout the spring and summer. Egrets, spoonbills, heron and vultures. However, in 1972, it was determined that maintaining the main route of I-75 through Downtown Tampa would eventually require major improvements to the existing infrastructure to handle through traffic. The worst thing about Alligator Alley is it is boring...long- straight, and if you get stuck behind slow drivers ..... watch out for the alligators and panthers! A trained professional from the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) will come to move the alligator from the road if you can’t safely drive around it. I would take Tamiami Trail (41) over Alligator Alley (75) ANY DAY!!! I’ve never seen any panthers that, as you likely know, are an endangered species. He came back with a few pics of his own and said “I’ve lived here my whole life and thought ive seen everything. I’ve been across Florida’s Route 75 — the famous “Alligator Alley” — many times and I’ve never seen an alligator. The radar component cost about $273,000. At this point, Alligator Alley ends and I-75 is toll free for the rest of its length in Florida. In Florida there are two wildlife rules the locals always follow: never feed the seagulls and never feed alligators. Every effort is made to provide the most current, accurate, official tolls for the roadway you are traveling. The freeway passes through the Tampa Bay Area before turning inward towards Ocala, Gainesville, and Lake City before leaving the state and entering Georgia. Alligator Alley has become part of Interstate 75, which road-weary drivers know as the fastest route across the Everglades to the east coast. It was total silence, with not even the whisper of a breeze blowing. Also, Panthers? “Nesting female alligators frequently guard their nests, sometimes placing themselves near the nest but in a spot where you can’t see them, and if you get too close she is likely to try and protect her eggs,” Rosenblatt says. What’s important is to go in the winter if you want to see gators. So as I neared my 18th birthday my friend decided it was time for a road trip. It was a good time anyway because it was my first adventure out of the Tampa/Orlando area. [17], In April 2008, FDOT proposed a 72-mile (116 km) section of Alligator Alley to be leased to private operators. At the right time of year there are loads of gators there sunning themselves on the banks. Glad you enjoyed it Wayne. Last month, the North Carolina DOT (NCDOT) announced it would be activating an innovative signal system in the Asheville area designed to guide…, North Carolina DOT (NCDOT) crews installed signs and upgraded signal systems along I-26 alternate routes as part of a new Incident Corridor…, New signs with instant information have already provided benefits to North Carolina drivers on the Old Fort Mountain section of I-40, according to…, Wrong-way driving is an evergreen issue for transportation providers worldwide. Follow the map above and happy hunting! The Withlacoochee State Trail runs beneath I-75 between US 98/SR 50 (Exit 301) and the Hernando–Sumter County line, where it also crosses over the Withlacoochee River. The state moved to officially adopt the “Alligator Alley” name in 1966. Want to see Roseate spoonbills? At the junction of SR 869 (Sawgrass Expressway) and I-595, I-75 (while maintaining its south–north status) enters a west–east trajectory as it crosses the Everglades by way of Alligator Alley, a toll road that runs from the Collier Boulevard (Exit 101) toll plaza to the US-27 toll plaza (Exit 23). the old road to the south that originally connected, From Miami: Florida Everglades Small Group Airboat Tour, Everglades National Park: 3.5-Hour Adventure Tour, Everglades Eco Adventure: 2-Hour Sawgrass Recreation Park, If you can’t go to Loop Road there are many Everglades airboat tours, many of which will pick you up at your hotel in Miami, Road Trip: Kennedy Space Center from Orlando, famous city at the tip of the Florida Key, Motorcycles Ride Through Florida's "Alligator Alley". I-75 enters Collier County along Alligator Alley just west of the Snake Road exit (exit 49) and passes through the Big Cypress National Preserve between the Collier County border and State Road 29 (exit 80). Are you referring to Rt 41 near Tampa? Jim – this sounds really cool! In the winter alligators come out of the cool winter waters to sun themselves on the banks, so I know you’ll see them on Alligator Alley during the winter. If you’re lucky at dusk or dawn you can see a Florida panther too. It loops around and parallels 41. We know how important it is to provide reliable information, and we make every effort to provide the most current, accurate, official tolls for the roadway you are traveling. If you’re visiting our Animal Sanctuary, you can see up to 100 alligators, watch an hourly live alligator show between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and hug a baby alligator! Anyhow, I’d love to travel Loop Road. It just depends on which experience you’re looking for. Instead, the I-75E designation was renumbered to what is known today as I-275, and both the I-75 and I-275 designations were swapped into their current configuration in 1973. Many bridges and culverts designed to let water and wildlife pass underneath the roadway and permit the natural flow of the Everglades’ waters were built as part of the upgrade. Within the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area, many interchanges are far more complex than mere diamond, cloverleaf, or even SPUI interchanges. It’s not a good idea on this Alligator Alley, as we once convinced a friend from Texas (halfway out of the car before we grabbed her) to get out for a closer look or, as she said, “to pull its tail.” Nor is it a good idea to take a walk along the road with your dog, which in South Florida are alligator’s favorite treats. This is your best bet for a 15 or 20 minute Everglades sampling along Alligator Alley. Rosenblatt advises that drivers stay in their vehicle and call the state’s nuisance alligator hotline at 866-392-4286. A flyover ramp was built from southbound Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (Exit 270) to southbound I-75.[5]. In September, the average speed at the signs was 71 mph in the northbound lanes and 65 mph in the southbound lanes. Marie, Michigan. Although the signs provided information that was already available to drivers on their own speedometers, the experiment worked. What a loss! The summer-early fall “rainy season” is the worse time to try to traverse it since large areas along its entire length are washed out by floods. The highway previously existed as a two-lane tollway connecting the two coasts of Florida. Cheers. Contact them through their site: http://www.nps.gov/bicy/. I just looked it up and, unfortunately, found that Monroe Station burned down last year. I have travelled through the original “Alligator Alley” and really enjoyed it. Also, I saw you mention in another comment, the road to Cape Canaveral, I agree its a nice gator spot. The passengers can see gators when you start seeing trees. It’s great, isn’t it? The need to improve the road was one of the factors considered in the decision to reroute I-75 onto Alligator Alley, which was rebuilt as a four-lane Interstate highway between 1986 and 1992. I’m not an alligator expert but I know that when the weather is cool the water cools down and the gators come out to warm themselves.

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