On Wednesday, the Miami Beach City Commission deferred a vote to approve a no-bid, $2.2 million contract to raise Dade Boulevard between the bridge to Belle Isle and the passage over the Collins Canal.
The main reason for the delay: That stretch of Dade Boulevard is a county road, and the city administration had not worked out an agreement for Miami-Dade to pay for the project. The city expects to get those details ironed out, and the project is likely to be voted on at the commission’s Feb. 10 meeting.
But commissioners also discussed the possibility of delaying the work to include it in the bid to build the new West Avenue bridge over the Collins Canal. Bidding the work out, instead of approving a no-bid contact, is likely to save 10-15 percent, city staff said at Wednesday’s meeting.
Formal bids also likely will delay both the Dade Boulevard work near the Purdy Avenue intersection, as well as the start of work on the West Avenue bridge. That’s because bids on West Avenue are to be opened on Feb. 10; adding this work to that project would require extending the bidding period for at least 30 days.
The city administration favors expediting the Dade Boulevard/Purdy work so at least some of it can be done before the Venetian Causeway reopens to mainland Miami on March 1.
The Venetian reopening is sure to mean more traffic over the flood prone stretch, and the construction will mean disruptions, even though the city says one lane in each direction will be kept open at all times. The work is expected to take about 75 days.
It’s worth noting that when the West Avenue bridge is built, another stretch of Dade Boulevard — where the bridge will sloped down to Sunset Harbour — will be raised as much as six feet above it’s current elevation.