Most people don’t know what lies north of the Tamiami Trail on 11 Mile Road. The answer is ‘Black Gold;’ active gas and oil production operations that have been pumping barrels since 1978.
With all this talk of new drilling operations on the way, and more applications in the works, just keep in mind it’s not a new phenomenon.
It all goes back to the days of the building of the Tamiami Trail, when a rich guy named Barron Collier paid out of his own pocket to finish the building of HWY US-41. In exchange, he got total permanent rights to a couple of hundred thousand acres of Florida land (though he already owned a million acres as the largest landowner in the state of Florida), and to have Collier County (home of Naples and Immokalee) named after him.
Contractually included with the land were mineral rights, meaning the right to all underground resources and to exploit them and or lease the land to others to do so.
As of 2015, according to an article by David Fleshler in the Sun Sentinel, there’s been an operation to extract a mix of oil and salt water, break it down and send it by pipe to the ominously named Devil’s Garden Truck Loading Facility on Snake Road in Broward County, pack it up, and ship it out to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Mineral extraction activity goes back at least to the 1970s.
It’s been a relatively clean and smooth operation for quite a while.
All you have to do is drive past that blue sign on the Tamiami Trail and you know where you’re at.