The Alligator Alley segment of Interstate 75 refers to a portion of the freeway from the US Route 27 at the Andy Town Interchange in Broward County westward through the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp to the vicinity of Naples in Collier County. Alligator Alley contains a cardinal direction change for Interstate 75 from a normally north/south alignment to one that is east/west. Alligator Alley is one of the straightest segments in the Interstate System and also is a source of numerous recreational opportunities.
Part 1; the history of Alligator Alley
As originally conceived and constructed Interstate 75 ("I-75") terminated in downtown Tampa at the Malfunction Junction Interchange with Interstate 4. As the original planned route of I-75 was nearing completion it was becoming increasingly apparent that US Route 41 ("US 41") on the Tamiami Trail was no longer sufficient to carry traffic from Tampa to Miami. A limited access roadway connecting Tampa to Naples was first proposed in 1964 as the West Coast Turnpike. The West Coast Turnpike would connect to the planned toll road extension of Florida State Road 84 ("FL 84") from Andy Town of Broward County through the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp to Collier County. FL 84 can be seen aligned from US 1 in Fort Lauderdale following the North Fork New River Canal west to US 27 in Andy Town on the 1964 Official Florida State Road Department.