Next West Avenue Bridge public meeting set; Miami Beach faces May deadline on land

One of the West Avenue bridge options.

With a key decision on whether to build a bridge over the Collins Canal on West Avenue less than four months away, the Florida Department of Transportation has scheduled its next public meeting on the proposal for March 27.

Housing Authority parcel is south of the Colllins Canal

The city of Miami Beach has until May 2 to decide whether to exercise an option for an easement on a small triangle of land owned by the Miami Beach Housing Authority north of 17th Street and the Collins Canal at West Avenue, according to city public works engineer Rick Saltrick.

If the city exercises the option, planning for a bridge connecting Sunset Harbour and the area west of Epicure would move forward. A final decision on whether to build the bridge — and its features, if built — would come later.

But if the city commission doesn’t act on the Housing Authority option, there is no path across the canal, and the project essentially dies right there.

The state DOT held an earlier public forum on the bridge proposal on Nov. 15, in which it presented four options, including building no bridge at all. Many residents who attended the meeting proposed another idea — a bike- and pedestrian-only bridge.

There was much enthusiasm from residents around the no-car bridge, but it looks like it isn’t possible. There is still no mention of it on the project website, which lists the other construction options.

Here is the short description of the project from the site:

The proposed West Avenue Bridge would span the Collins Canal, which is a city-owned manmade canal.  Proposed improvements would likely include approximately 110 feet of new roadway and an approximately 55 foot long low-level fixed bridge over the Collins Canal.  The bridge would include two northbound and southbound through-lanes and possibly turn lanes as well as bike lanes and sidewalks on each side.

At the Belle Isle Residents Association meeting on Jan. 18, homeowner association president Scott Diffenderfer said residents shouldn’t delude themselves about a bridge that doesn’t carry cars.

The funding that’s in place from state and federal sources is specifically for a road for vehicles. If the city wants a bike-only bridge, it will pay for it on its own, he said.

The March 27 meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Miami Beach Regional Library, 277 22 St.


4 responses to “Next West Avenue Bridge public meeting set; Miami Beach faces May deadline on land

  1. I think a vehicle bridge would be a mistake. A bike bridge would be sweet.That intersection is crazy enough already without more losy drivers coming from another direction..

  2. I own at Costa Brava and at Sunset Harbour North. I believe that the proposed vehicle and pedestrian West Ave bridge is critical to the future of our little triangle of South Beach. West Ave residents could get to the ever popular Sunset Harbour area with Publix, Fresh Market and over 6 restaurants with a growing retail and restaurant base. The West Avenue residents currently drive west on 17th and right on Purdy, and the same in reverse, which creates a lot of UN-necessary traffic for the Venetian Island residents.
    I am all for progress and for the building of the very needed West Avenue Bridge.

  3. Pingback: Planners meet public in Sunset Harbour on proposed West Avenue Bridge | Belle Isle Blog

  4. Pingback: Miami Beach faces key West Avenue bridge vote Wednesday | Belle Isle Blog

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