The Coast Guard has agreed to keep the eastern Venetian Way drawbridge in the down position during the closing and rebuild of the west end of the historic causeway.
The Florida Department of Transportation announced the Coast Guard pledge at a community meeting Wednesday night, which wsa scheduled to get resident into on different options for reparing all the Venetian bridges.
Miami Beach officials and Venetian island residents have been pleading for the Coast Guard to lock down the easternmost span for months, ever since engineers said structural issues on the Venetian span between mainland Miami and Biscayne Island were so severe that the bridge would have to be closed and rebuilt.
Keeping the bridge in the down position means residents — and emergency vehicles — won’t be delayed by bridge closings as they navigate the much longer route from the islands to mainland Miami. Because of the bridge work, all island residents heading to Miami will have to use either the MacArthur or Julia Tuttle causeways.
The rebuild of the westernmost span is supposed to begin on June 1. It’s expected to last nine to 12 months.
The Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas has an account of last night’s meeting.