Miami-Dade restores South Beach Local bus service to Belle Isle

Miami-Dade Transit just announced that the Belle Isle stop on the South Beach Local bus route is back in service, as of 6 p.m. today.

Service was restored after the Florida Department of Transportation increase the weight allowed on the bridge between Sunset Harbour and Belle Isle.

The county stopped South Beach Local service to Belle Isle in April, due to structural issues with the bridge. The South Beach Local connects Belle Isle with Sunset Harbour, Collins Park, and the rest of South Beach along Washington Avenue, Alton Road and West Avenue.

Is Google’s former boss bulding a house on San Marino Island?

Curbed Miami, a website that specializes in real estate and architecture, has an interesting post on elaborate home plans submitted for a 12,700 square foot home on San Marino that reporter Sean McCaughan tracks back to ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Curbed says the plans, submitted to Miami Beach’s Design Review Board for a hearing today, is a series of cubes designed by Leroy Street Studio.

Flash from the past on Dade Boulevard

IMG_3766We photographed this throwback Friday truck at 6:45 a.m. at the corner of Meridian and Dade Boulevard.

Tell the truth. Don’t you miss Burdines?

New restaurant opens in Costa Brava, and Belle Isle residents get a break

We have a new restaurant on Belle Isle.

It’s in the Costa Brava condominium, 11 Island Ave., and it’s open to the public.

It’s open Tuesday through Sunday to eat in and take out, and features a Bistro-style menu. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner is 6-10 p.m. It offers Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For lunch there are salads, crepes, Panini sandwiches, tacos  as well as pasta, fish and meat dishes in the $6-$10 range. Dinners run $12-$28. Take a look at the menu.

Costa Brava community association manager Maria Mijares says it is run by Thierry Bossa, a French chef who previously owned La Cigale restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard.

Mijares says Belle Isle residents will get a 10 percent discount if they mention they learned about the restaurant in the Belle Isle Blog. (we are blushing in Blogland).

There are two other dining options on Belle Isle: the fine waterfront restaurant at the Standard, and the House Cafe at 9 Island Avenue (open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. for dinner). The House Cafe is open for dining to 9 Island residents, and delivers throughout Belle Isle.

 

Miami Beach will ask Coast Guard to close east Venetian drawbridge during construction

Mayor Philip Levine told Venetian Island residents that Miami Beach will ask the Coast Guard to lock down the east Venetian Causeway bridge during the construction of a new west bridge span that will start this fall.

Levine said he and City Manager Jimmy Morales would draft and send the letter, “and I will follow up with the Coast Guard commandant.”

Morales said it is important to get Miami-Dade County to join in on the request, because the county oversees the causeway. Levine and Morales plan to discuss the issue with Mayor Carlos Gimenez, they said.

Because of structural issues with the causeway bridges, Miami-Dade County expects to shut down the westernmost bridge to mainland Miami around November so the bridge span can be torn down and replaced.

It’s expected to be closed for nine months.

Miami and Miami Beach has been working on contingency plans to get rescue vehicles to the islands during the closure.

“For me, its really an emergency situation, if we can’t get to a resident if the bridge is up,” said Commissioner  Micky Steinberg, who scheduled the issue for discussion.

Venetian Island residents Tony Santos and Holly Sukanik Wallack asked the city to send a forceful letter to the Coast Guard.

“Locking down the east bridge ensures we have access for emergency fire and rescue vehicles,” Wallack said, noting that the east bridge was twice stuck in the up position during the last month — once for four hours.

Santos reminded commissioners of a recent death of a Venetian resident who suffered a heart attack and couldn’t be attended to by paramedics because of delays in getting across the drawbridge.

Miami Beach fire officials said that because the city of Miami cannot bring any fire trucks across the bridge. Miami has placed a pumper truck at the 1000 Venetian Way condo for emergency use. Miami could send firefighters to run the truck on pickup trucks until the bridge construction begins, and by boat after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunpass on the Venetian Causeway: transition happens Aug. 29

What Miami-Dade’s causeway folks have been saying would happen for more more than two years is about to become reality: the Venetian Causeway will convert to SunPass for tolls and annual pass use starting Friday, Aug. 29.

That means no one will need to stop at the toll Plaza on Biscayne Island; instead, SunPass will either register their car transponder or bill them toll-by-plate. The county predicts it will reduce the backups at the plaza during busy times.

Even though the county plans to close the easternmost span between Biscayne Island and Miami in the fall for a reconstruction that will take six to nine months, the SunPass conversion is moving forward.

If you are a Venetian annual pass holder (either an island resident or employed on the island) you’ll be getting a form in the mail that will enable you to register your SunPass so you won’t be billed.

You’ll need to provide your transponder number and plate number to link your plan account for the Venetian with your transponder to avoid per-trip fees.

Here’s the notification the county sent to Belle Isle condo managers:

From: Tolls (PWWM) [mailto:TOLLS@miamidade.gov]
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 3:03 PM
Cc: Bauman, Mike (PWWM)
Subject: SunPass Update

Dear Venetian Causeway Neighbors,

We are pleased to announce that the transition to SunPass is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 29, 2014. When the conversion is complete, drivers will have improved travel time and traffic flow across the Causeway. Please be advised that in order to avoid per trip or Toll-By-Plate charges, each motorist must have a SunPass transponder. For annual plan holders, their account will be linked to their SunPass account so that they will not incur any additional charges.

In an effort to keep you informed of the progress:

– A letter has been sent to all current annual plan holders to obtain their SunPass transponder numbers

– All plan holder accounts will be updated with the SunPass transponder data

– Flyers and other informational material will be distributed in the lanes and available at the Venetian Customer Service Center

– Signage announcing the change will be in place–

E-mail address tolls@miamidade.gov has been established to address questions and concerns

We will provide additional updates as needed.

Thank you,

Causeways Division

Water restored, 3 Belle Isle buildings face boil water order during weekend

The "geyser" on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

The “geyser” on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

Today’s water main break was quickly contained, but three buildings on Belle Isle will have a boil water order for the next two days: 3 Island Avenue, 5 Island Avenue and 9 Island….