Critical Mass rides on this Friday night; plan your evening driving accordingly.

Route for Friday night's bike ride.

Route for Friday night’s bike ride.

The July Critical Mass bike ride is taking a Miami Beach-heavy route Friday night, crossing our neighborhood from Dade Boulevard west across Venetian Way to the mainland.

The ride is scheduled to start in downtown Miami at 7:15 p.m., crossing over the 79th Street Causeway through North Bay Village and then into Miami Beach on 71th Street  before heading south along Indian Creek and then Collins Avenue to Dade Boulevard.

You’ll want to be patient, and planning ahead is the best strategy. Be careful out there.

Venetian drawbridge construction starts soon, and here’s how to learn more about it

With the newest road construction obstacle course underway off Sunset Harbor in preparation for the West Avenue Bridge, another major traffic inconvenience is about to begin.

This one will no doubt be more disruptive. As we’ve reported before, Miami-Dade County has to do major work on the eastern Venetian Way drawbridge span, the one between Rivo Alto and Belle Isle.

The drawbridge has been locked in the closed position since April 2015, due to a mechanical failure.

Some work is expected to start next month, but the biggest issue — the closure of the bridge to all foot, bike and auto traffic — may not happen until November. At one point, the county had said the bridge would be closed to all traffic for a 45-day period.

That’s a huge headache, no matter how you look at it. Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco has told the Venetian Island Homeowner Association he’s investigating engaging a water taxi to ferry people across the gap, but it’s unclear how consistent the demand would be.

How bad will it be? What will be the precise timing?

Miami-Dade has scheduled a community meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the community room at 1000 Venetian Way on Biscayne Island. It will be hosted by the Venetian Way Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the Belle Isle Residents Association and the Venetian Isles Homeowner Association.

Residents are encouraged to attend.

Yes, the road construction has begun

The barricades are up again.

The barricades are up again.

You’ve no doubt noticed that work began last week on the raising of the Venetian Way/Dade Boulevard/17th Street seawalls near Maurice Gibb Park and Sunset Harbour.

And now comes word from the city that Miami-Dade County, as it prepares to rebuild the drawbridge between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto, will be opening the bridge tonight from midnight to 3 a.m. Wednesday, and Wednesday night from midnight to 3 a.m. Thursday.

This is a prelude to project that is expected to start in September and run through December 2016.

The work near Sunset Harbour involves raising seawalls along the Collins Canal, and is a early step in a process that will ultimately include raising the road and the construction of a new bridge along West Avenue over the canal.

In the face of growing opposition, Sunset Harbour developer pulls project

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

Save Miami Beach targets Sunset Harbour project

Save Miami Beach targets Sunset Harbour project

Neighbors objected to the height variance — 90 feet instead of 50.

Beach Towing tried to derail the parking garage — or extract more than a $1 million.

This week, Deco Capital and developer Bradley Colmer withdrew their application for the Residences at Sunset Harbour, a retail, parking and luxury condo project proposed to be built across from Maurice Gibb Park on Purdy Avenue.

In a letter to the city, Colmer said he’ll return with a project within the existing height regularions.

Pause, Belle Isle, and enjoy the view

IMG_6139It’s a beautiful Belle Isle morning. Right now, no noise, no traffic, just a beautiful sunrise.

Thinking of going north on Alton Road this afternoon or coming home on the Julia Tuttle?

You might want to reconsider. President Obama is coming to town, and he’s attending  a couple of fund-raisers on Miami Beach.

As a result, the city is warning commuters that between 4 and 7 p.m., “there will be periodic closures” on the Tuttle, Alton Road north, and the 41st Street corridor.

It might be a good time to sign up for Miami Beach traffic text alerts. They really do help. Or follow the city on Twitter.

Get ready for another edition of Venetian crossing closed

The repair of the Venetian Way drawbridge between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto and roadbed repairs around it will begin as soon as September, and the crossing will be closed for 45 days during the work.

The drawbridge has been locked in the closed position since April 2015, due to a mechanical failure. When the westernmost span of the Venetian was rebuilt (May of 2015 to March 1, 2016), Miami-Dade County kept it closed to keep an open path on the longer routes from the Venetian Isles to mainland Miami.

But now Miami-Dade is moving ahead with the roadwork, the Miami Herald reports.

The cost of the project is about 2 million.  Construction should start around September. The drawbridge is expected to be finished by December 2016. Repairs to the other bridge are expected to be done by May.