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Case Study

Ludlam Trail Project Case Study

By: Rails-to-Trails-Conservancy CASE STUDY
February 16, 2024

Miami’s Ludlam Trail Project Case Study

Ludlam Trail | Photo courtesy FECI

One Linear Park. Hundreds of Miles of Connectivity. Billions in Economic Development.

Ludlam Trail Project case studyDownload

Project Details

Lead Authority: Miami-Dade County
Total Project Cost: $34 million
Funding Pledged to Date: $30.2 million

State: $24 million
Local: $4.2 million
Private: $2 million

Shovel-Ready: One year
Type: Urban

Transformative Impact

Job Creation: An estimated 380 jobs directly (construction) and 1,000 indirectly (new businesses) over 20 years1; construction wages alone estimated at more than $21 million.2

Economic Growth: Up to $1.8 billion in estimated user spending and $125 million in state sales-tax revenues over 20 years. Locally, a $2.7 billion increase in assessed property values in the same time period could result in an additional $523 million in real-estate tax revenues.3

Health-Care Spending: Direct medical cost savings estimated to be up to $2.25 million annually from increased physical activity.4

Project Description

In Miami, Florida, infrastructure has not caught up with the city’s increased population of those who wish to walk and bike; therefore, the city continues to face 1) high pedestrian and biking fatality rates; and 2) barriers to opportunities for physical activity and active transportation to the area’s vast cultural and natural assets. In the private sector, Florida East Coast Industries, a private real-estate developer, high-speed rail and infrastructure company, is an active supporter of the project due to the potential for profitable trail-oriented development for adjacent real estate. The innovative Ludlam Trail project is positioning Miami-Dade County to transform a 6.2-mile disused rail line into a vibrant linear park and active transportation hub with the potential to spur billions of dollars in economic impact and health-care cost savings over the next 20 years—and safely connect thousands of residents to critical destinations in the densely populated heart of the region.

Modeled after New York City’s 1.5-mile High Line, and stretching from Dadeland north to just south of the Miami Airport, the Ludlam Trail could connect more than 34,000 people within a half-mile walkable service area—where there currently exists numerous infrastructure barriers for walking and biking—to greenways, schools, parks and two transit hubs, encouraging active transportation and providing thousands of residents with new, safe access to opportunities for physical activity. The benefits of this signature and iconic regional project, costing approximately $34 million, will be realized exponentially across all sectors of the community—including economic, health, social and civic—ultimately significantly improving the quality of life for all people living and working in the county.

The Ludlam Trail is also part of the Miami LOOP—a 225-mile regional trail project that, when complete, will form seamless connections around Miami and up through Miami Beach, south into Monroe County and north into Broward County, linking major tourist areas, downtown Miami, the Port of Miami and two national parks.


1 Based on an economic impact study by RLCLO
2 Miami-Dade County Trail Benefits Study, Ludlam Trail Case Study, Miami-Dade County, January 2011, available at:

Miami LOOP

A 225-mile trail vision to expand transportation options, make biking and walking safer and more equitable, strengthen the regional economy and wellness across Miami-Dade County.

Atlantic Greenway South Beach Trail, part of the Miami LOOP | Photo by Lee Smith

View Miami LOOP
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Everyone deserves access to safe ways to walk, bike, and be active outdoors.