Most people don’t know what lies north of the Tamiami Trail on 11 Mile Road, 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 to finish the construction of the last section of that great wild roadway now called US-41 from Miami to Tampa. In exchange, he got total permanent rights to a couple of hundred thousand acres (though he already owned a million acres as the largest landowner in the state of Florida), and Collier County (home of Naples and Immokalee) named after him.
Included with the land were mineral rights, meaning underground riches, and the right to exploit them and or lease 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. And mineral extraction activity goes back 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.