Published: May 16, 2013 11:17 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - There's finally a crack in the dam blocking the natural flow of water into Everglades National Park.
    
The Tamiami Trail that traverses South Florida's wetlands has kept water from flowing into the park for more than 80 years. On Wednesday, a backhoe broke through a 1-mile stretch of the old roadway that has been replaced with a bridge.
    
The bridge opened in March. The Department of the Interior says getting $30 million to raise the next 2.6-mile section of the bridge is a top priority.
    
The bridge and the removal of the old highway are among Everglades restoration projects that languished through funding and legal challenges since Congress approved them in 2000.
    
The park has long suffered from a lack of water due to various water-control structures and the highway.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)