Starting Monday, a two-block stretch of West Avenue will be closed while paving work takes place — if all goes well and the sun still shines.
The work happens between 17th Street and Lincoln Road, and for Venetian Island residents it means that easy right turn south on West toward the MacArthur will have to happen on Alton Road, and your return from South Beach will need to be from Alton as well.
According to the city’s formal notice: One southbound lane is expected to reopen on the west side of the street by Wednesday, July 8. Northbound lanes will remain closed during this time and motorists wishing to travel north will be directed to use Alton Court. The contractor will complete a drainage crossing and begin to prepare the east side of the road for work.
The city says condominiums on the west side of the street will need to exit onto Bay Road. If you want to park in the lots behind Epicure or Ace or Crunch, you’ll need to use Alton Court, but the lots will remain open. Drivers traveling north on Alton Court will be able to access 17 Street.
Have a happy holiday weekend.
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.
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.
While 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.
We’re all bracing for the months of inconvenience that start Monday when the westernmost span on Venetian Way closes for reconstruction.
But we heard some decent news today from the Florida Department of Transportation: They plan to partially open the 17th Street bridge on Monday, so Venetian Isle residents can turn right on to West Avenue as we make our way south to the MacArthur Causeway.
According to FDOT spokeswoman Heather Leslie, “one eastbound and one westbound lane will reopen on 17 Street between Dade Boulevard and West Avenue.
“The contractor will continue underground drainage, water main and sanitary sewer operations within the existing work zone on West Avenue between Lincoln Road and 17 Street. 17 between Alton Court and West Avenue will be closed for all pedestrian traffic.”
The Venetian closure is expected to last about nine months.
It 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.
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.