Category Archives: City Issues

Miami Beach issues affecting our island.

The road gods giveth, the road gods taketh away

Okey dokey. The good road construction news first:

By Monday, the of Miami Beach says it will reopen one east and one west lane on 17th street between the 17th Street Bridge and Alton Road. So we’ll no longer have to detour to Dade Boulevard to make our east.

But…..starting Monday night, the repaving of West Avenue between  Lincoln Road and Fifth Street begins. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, this work will be done mostly at night. We’ll see what impact this has as the work moves forward.

Tough choices ahead for the Venetian bridges

Now that the Biscayne Island to mainland Miami span of Venetian Way is closed until 2016, it’s not too early to face up to the work ahead on the other Venetian bridges.

The Miami Herald’s Andres Viglucci does just that in a piece this morning, which examines the condition of the other bridges and the choices FDOT, Miami-Dade County and Venetian Isle residents face.

Here is the key paragraph imn the story — and the biggest issues ahead:

…Preservationists and Venetian Islands residents who have weighed in on the question overwhelmingly agree on one thing: Whether they are refurbished or rebuilt, the bridges should remain much as they are now: intimate and charming, low in scale and slow in speed, a popular draw for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, tourists and locals alike, and affording unmatched, close-to-the-water vistas of Biscayne Bay.

The Venetian Causeway is closed

IMG_4647We walked the length of Venetian Way and back from Belle Isle between 6 and 7 a.m.

IMG_4645IMG_4648It’s never seemed quieter. For residents, detour aside, enjoy the tranquility. The bridges belong to biker, runners, walkers and residents now — as long as you don’t want to cross to Miami.

Update: 17th Street – West Avenue connection is open

IMG_4641While construction on the 17th Street bridge continues on Sunday, workers have opened lanes enabling Venetian Island residents to turn right on to West Avenue south.

You can return to Belle Isle and the other Venetian Islands directly from West Avenue and 17th Street as well.

The Florida Department of Transportation had pledged the intersection would reopen by the time the Venetian Causeway access to downtown Miami is shut down — which happens at midnight tonight.

Drivers still cannot go east-west on 17th Street between West Avenue and Alton Road.

 

Venetian Causeway closes at midnight; nine months of detours to begin

Workers race to open 17th Street to West Avenue lanes on Saturday

Workers race to open 17th Street to West Avenue lanes on Saturday.

After more than a year of dread and delay, the Venetian Causeway link between the Venetian Islands and downtown Miami closes tonight — for at least nine months.

The $12.4 million job means no Miami Beach to Miami access for Art Basel (December) and the Miami Marathon (February), Art Deco Weekend (January), the Boat Show (February), South Beach Food and Wine (February) and possibly Winter Music Conference and Ultra (March).

It’s inconvenient for drivers, and a nightmare for bikes and scooterswho know the Venetian to be the quickest and safest path for them across Biscayne Bay.

March 15, 2014. That’s the day when a chunk of the westernmost Venetian Causeway bridge gave way under the tire of Miami-Dade Transit bus.

A month later, Miami-Dade County announced the structural deficiencies in the bridge were so severe that the span would have to be closed and rebuilt. At the time, Miami-Dade said the closure would begin in four to six months, and work would take nine months.

Could some of the event impact have been avoided if the county moved closer to its original timetable? Maybe.  But with nine months of construction, it’s hard not to impact a major attraction in an event-laden area like ours.

There’s an interesting story by the Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas today that reveals that the contractor could get the work done before Art Basel — for $4.7 million more than the $12.4 million construction contract. It’s money Miami-Dade says it’s not willing to pay.

Meanwhile, island residents prepared Sunday for their longer commutes, contractors worked all weekend on the 17th Street connectiion to West Avenue, trying to get it ready so drivers heading south to the MacArthur Causeway could avoid the detour to Alton Road.

 

Friday night bike ride will cross Venetian, snarl traffic

Route for Friday night's ride

Route for Friday night’s ride

Plan for a Venetian Way traffic mess Friday night.

Critical Mass — the last-Friday-of-the-month bicycling event — is using its last chance before Venetian bridge construction closes the west span on June 1 to make the Miami Beach to mainland Miami crossing.

And that means at minimum, hundreds of bikes crossing the causeway starting around 7:45 p.m.

Friday’s ride starts at 7:15 p.m. on the mainland, riders will cross to Miami Beach over the 79th Street Causeway.

According to Miami Beach police, the cyclists will then continue east along 71 Street, then south at Indian Creek Drive towards 63 Street. They will continue south along Collins Avenue to Dade Boulevard.

At Dade Boulevard, cyclists will head west to the Venetian Causeway, where they will exit Miami Beach and continue into the city of Miami.

Our advice: Plan your Venetian travel before 7:30 p.m. or after 9 p.m. — and just to be careful. And if you get caught in the traffic, be patient!

 

Venetian bridge closure warnings coming soon to a mailbox near you

bridge flyerIt looks like June 1 will officially mark the day the bridge between Biscayne Island and mainland Miami really closes the the rebuild, and our nine to 12 months of detoured traffic begins.

Miami-Dade County is mailing all island residents an informational card this week that spells out the start, the schedule and cost (9 months, $12.4 million), and the fact that the east Venetian drawbridge will be locked down and closed to boats during construction to keep traffic flowing out of the islands.

So, starting in two weeks, the drive to mainland means going north to the Julia Tuttle Causeway or south to the MacArthur. If you ride a bike — well, it’s going to be even tougher.