It’s been a scary summer on the Venetian Causeway, as runners, bicyclists and seek a safe crossing amid the sharp turns, deep potholes and scarred pavement of the construction project.
So this is the last thing a causeway commuter wants to hear:
Not only is there another causeway construction project in the future, it *could* threaten the historic nature of the causeway’s vintage bridge crossings.
The state Department of Transportation says the causeway bridges, last renovated 12 years ago, need another fix. There are two hearings scheduled to discuss repairing and/replacing the historic bridges.
The first is today at 10 a.m. at Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr., before the Historic Preservation Board.
The second happens in the city of Miami on Dec. 5 at 3 p.m., before that city’s Historic Preservation Board. It’s at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Dr.
Scott Diffenderfer, president of the Belle Isle Residents Association is urging island residents to make a showing.
“The last time this occurred (project was completed in 1999), many residents and neighborhood activists lobbied hard for FDOT to preserve the character of the existing bridges when considering repair or replace options,” he wrote to resident association members. “If not for early and constant citizen involvement, the state would most likely have replaced the existing bridges to bring the road ‘up to current codes,’ most likely involving solid concrete barriers similar to what exists on the MacArthur and Tuttle Causeways.
With tight state budgets, Diffenderfer says, there is even greater risk.
“It is important that we start lobbying now to preserve the unique quality of the bridges on Venetian Way and maintain the historic character that helped get the road listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.”