As Belle Isle drainage work proceeds, we need to know: Is your car rusting?

Sea water bubbling up from sewer on Jan. 21 on Venetian Way.

The city of Miami Beach, after years of delays and fixes that didn’t work, says it will have the latest drainage solution for Belle Isle in place by the end of May.

But many Belle Isle residents may have permanent damage from the pumped up baywater that resulted from more than four years of futility in trying to fix the problem.

Capital Improvement Coordinator Carla Dixon, who has overseen the ill-fated project, sent this note to the Belle Isle Homeowners Association:

The contractor for the Belle Isle East Outfall Project remobilized on Monday May 2nd and has installed piping up to the existing seawall, core drilled through the seawall, and is preparing to install piping through the seawall this week.  Once the piping is installed, the contractor will restore the seawall including the immediate vicinity of the bridge abutment. Weather (tides) permitting, the remaining work is anticipated to be completed by the end of May 2011.

Meanwhile, the association has received complaints from many island residents who say they have been told by mechanics working on their cars that the underside — including brake lines — are rusting.

President Scott Diffenderfer told Belle Isle Blog: “Ironically I took my own car in a couple of weeks ago for what I thought was the need for power steering fluid and was told I had a rusting steering column…close to $3K to replace.”

Nine Island resident Merle Weiss has a similar problem. And the Belle Isle Blog’s own car developed a rusted undercarriage, something our mechanic said “I’ve never seen on a car this new.”

Diffenderfer wants to document the damage to cars on the island. If this has happened to you, post a comment on the blog and we’ll get you in touch with the right people. Said Diffenderfer:

“In other neighborhoods, the City’s lack of planning to stop water intrusion at high tide is negligent but I guess can be considered a natural phenomenon.  In our neighborhood, we never had salt water at high tide until the City installed the pumps. It’s very clear that this project is responsible for this situation and the damage that continues to occur.”


4 responses to “As Belle Isle drainage work proceeds, we need to know: Is your car rusting?

  1. I have a 3 year old Lexus. The entire underside rusted, and I had to replace the muffler, the entire exhaust system, and Lexus wanted me to replace the catalytic converter. It would have been $2800 at Lexus but I managed to get what was absolutely minimally needed done for less than $500, and fortunately my lease was up. What a disaster!!!!

  2. Yes, my car and my motorcycle show signs of rust that began in the past year. (or is more evident in the past few months)

  3. Michael Dolce

    WOW! my car is currently in the shop for a new subframe around $2500. I live at 20 Island Ave. I park on the circle residential area, my wife uses our parking spot. My mechanic was working on my car and called me to come see the rust damage. He showed me how the subframe was rusting through. This holds the engine and front end of the car together. Granted the car is older, but he just replaced the motor 2 years ago. My wife’s 2005 also has far more rust than what he said would be normal. It’s absolutely caused by the work they have been doing. The island floods salt water daily. It’s crazy!

  4. Hi Scott: I sold my 2007 Lexus to my fiancee last year and last week he had a crash and found out the car is totally rusted, insurance doesn’t want to pay. Has anybody had any help from the City?
    Many thanks and btw I love your blog.

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