Miami Beach Commission approves West Avenue bridge

Miami Beach City Commissioners on Wednesday approved the concept of building a West Avenue bridge over the Collins Canal to provide a direct route from South Beach to Sunset Harbour.

In a 6-1 vote, commissioners decided to exercise an option for property held by the Miami Beach Housing Authority at West Avenue between 17th Street and the Collins Canal. That land provides the path for the bridge crossing.

Commissioners chose this configuration for the bridge.

Their vote backed a recommendation from Florida Department of Transportation consultants for a bridge that includes one northbound lane and two southbound lanes, one for cars turning left on to 17th Street from Sunset Harbour. The recommendation included bike lanes and a separate sidewalk in each direction.

The vote  also called for the commission’s Neighborhoods committee to explore the impact of a bridge that included a northbound right turn lane to 17th Street, and traffic calming measures for West Avenue south of Lincoln Road.

Commissioner Jorge Exposito said he supported the bridge but didn’t want to be locked in to the specific configuration supported by planners, and wanted them to explore adding a right turn lane at 17th Street.

Commissioner Jerry Libben voted no. (Note, an earlier version of this post incorrectly said Expositio had voted no).

Planners have said it will be two years before work will start on the bridge, but the commission had to decide on whether to acquire the right-of-way from the Housing Authority by May 2. If they did not act, the Housing Authority had several bidders interested in buying the land for development.

During nearly two hours of discussion, commissioners heard from several West Avenue residents who worried the bridge would attract more traffic and congestion to their neighborhood, as commuters seek to avoid Alton Road.

Supporters of the bridge said the traffic will come with or without the bridge. And residents of Sunset Harbour said with the restaurant and retail boom in their area — and the construction of the new city parking garage — the bridge is a necessity.

“Sunset Harbour is now a destination,” said Frank Kruszewski, a leader in the Sunset Harbour condominium association. “You have to do this when you have the opportunity.”

12 responses to “Miami Beach Commission approves West Avenue bridge

  1. I thought Libbin voted against the bridge, not Exposito.

  2. This project should include a buffered/protected bike lane. Not mere striping. No excuse not to. Don’t settle for mediocrity while other cities add modern bicycle infrastructure and we get the littlest possible.

  3. 2 years just to get started??? C’mon It’s a bridge, not a stadium!

  4. Thankfully I will be living elsewhere in two years. I’ve had enough of SoBe’s hypergrowth and lack of consideration for its residents that want a quiet respite from the nonsense east of Meridian.

  5. Score one more victory for commercial interests over quality of life for residents. Got to pour more concrete so we can get our money into the hands of more shopkeepers quicker! I mean do we REALLY need two supermarkets on the same block and another 5 minutes walk away? Jeez, this town is ridiculous.

    • 5 minutes away??? LOL more like 5 seconds. The closeness of those two Publix Markets makes no sense at all. Tear the one on dade down. *****News Flash a new Publix is opening up at 6th and Lennox directly across from the new one at 5th. In order to pay for this construction Publix has advised that they will be raising prices on all their items. Said one Publix executive “If our customers don’t like our prices they can shop else where.” Like where the other publix across the street, or no the new one on biscayne in midtown or wait one of the two within walking distance of each other in Brikell. I H8 them **********

  6. @No bridge: Hmrph. Maybe the SoBe motto ought to be “Where Too Much is Never Good Enough.”

  7. gregory szczepkowski

    TWO YEARS ! It only took 27 months to build the Empire State Building in 1930. Welcome to Miami Beach.

  8. Are our commissioners out of their minds??? This is the most ridiculous waste of money. It WILL increase traffic on West Ave. It WONT save anybody any time getting to Sunset Harbour. A simple, inexpensive walking/bicycle bridge would make more sense. The housing authority should use this property to build much needed affordable housing for our seniors. Our beautiful beach front community is being raped over and over again,

  9. Mary Kennedy Baumslag

    Why does every construction/repair/rebuild project take ages in Miami
    Beach? In New York City these “major” builds move along at record
    pace. What gives? And who profits from these Looooooooooong term

  10. Sick and Poorer

    A second Publix at Lenox and 6th? You sure? Sure, sure?
    Why would the city approve that?
    Why not another competing reasonably-priced supermarket?
    Publix is at least 50% more expensive than comparable or better supermarkets in other cities (I.e. Houston, Dallas, Chicago, yes they are way cheaper!)

  11. Pingback: Get ready for continuing construction at Belle Isle’s doorstep | Belle Isle Blog

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