You know that dirty u-turn you want to make over the median on a long stretch of highway when you miss a turn? In South Florida, you could be driving into disaster.
U.S. Hwy 27 runs all the way from Miami, FL to Fort Wayne, Indiana. That’s about 1,300 miles of concrete from the heartland of America to the heart of Babylon.
Somewhere between Krome Ave and the Broward County line is where the above photo came from, but rest assured there’s more than enough inter-highway wetlands to fill a stadium terrarium at each stop on the way.
And now for a hypothetical scenario:
Picture for a moment if you will the experience of speeding through this region late one moonless night. At the speed limit of fifty five miles an hour an alligator makes one hell of a speed bump. At the seventy five mile an hour average that you’re more likely traveling, it can send a car flipping and flying like a rally racer in a scene out of Die Hard.
So there you are zooming down the roadway, bleary eyed in the vast expanse of flatlands that defines the driving experience when you see a reptilian glint off the brights you’ve set your headlights to. You swerve hard left, that’s a 13 footer taking up both lanes of roadway and if you hit it you may be doomed. At the very least it’s gonna crack your axle.
You cut the wheel so hard you swerve and fish out, hydroplaning over dew-slick grass. Next thing you know, your open window is filling with water, muck, something green, and its effluvium.
The middle of the highway is a wetland marsh. This is a recurring feature of good old U.S. HWY 27. From Miami, it’s a straight shot up to Lake Okeechobee, where water traditionally floods south on a 2 degree grade all the way through the Everglades into Florida Bay.
This is real, wild, Florida. Be careful out there. And never drive over the median unless you absolutely have to. It may be full of water, and you might wake up in Underwaterville.