As we cross into 2013, it’s a good time to recap the major neighborhood issues of 2012 and what to expect in 2013.
In 2012, we survived the trauma of Venetian Causeway construction, frequent flooding in Sunset Harbour and and along West Avenue and Alton Road, sidewalks lost to work on the new parking garage and shops and the new bikeway along the Collins Canal.
We saw Miami Beach and the Florida Department of Transportation push forward plans for a bridge over the canal at West Avenue.
Our culinary options expanded with the rise of the Pubbelly empire on Sunset Harbour. We’ll have PB Steak in mid-January 2013.
And what else will the new year bring?
New road projects that will create short-term inconvenience, and hopefully long-term benefit. More development pressure. And discussion of how to resolve the flooding headaches caused by rising sea level. Some key issues:
— Alton Road Construction. The city of Miami Beach will take on a major road improvement and drainage project, starting in April, along Alton Road. The work will extend from Fifth Street to Michigan Avenue, working from south to north, and it’s expected to last two-and-one-half years.
The $27.5 million project will include the installation of a new drainage system, with new pumping stations at Fifth, 10th and 14th streets. It also will include new signage, stoplights and street lights. There will be road closings and detours for the pumping stations (on 10th and 14th streets) and the diversion of traffic to West Avenue.
— Streetscape on Venetian Isles. Work will begin on the long-awaited streetscape project that will bring new landscaping, lighting, sidewalks and drainage to Rivo Alton, DiLido and San Marino Islands. It should have little impact on Venetian Way, and will greatly prettify the islands themselves.
— The Sunset Harbour boom. We’ve only seen two stores open in Sunset Harbour shops, but in the first quarter of 2013, we’ll see more stores and restaurants and the area turning into an even more attractive destination. How will it accommodate the traffic? And what happens when the streets flood. It’s great to see all the activity, but a little worrisome at the same time.
— Sunpass on the Venetian. By May 2013, the Venetian Causeway toll system is supposed to switch to Sunpass, though the county is far behind schedule in converting the Rickenbacker Causeway away from C-Pass and there’s been slippage for the Venetian as well. Many worry the change will encourage more traffic on the Venetian. We’ll keep you posted on the timeline for this change.
— West Avenue development. There are a number of important development proposals on the table for 2013 on West Avenue: a renovation of Southgate Towers, including a 200-seat restaurant; replacing the old South Shore Hospital with a rental project with street-level retail, and a Marriott Residence Inn north 17th Street off Alton Road. There’s a Jan. 15 presentation on the South Shore Hospital plan.