Tag Archives: bike path

Miami Beach scrambles to stay above high water — on Collins Canal and elsewhere

Collins Canal seawall work at Bay Road.

Collins Canal seawall work at Bay Road (photo by Josh Fisher)

If you live on Belle Isle, in Sunset Harbour or the West Avenue corridor, no one has to tell you about sea rise and flooding — you’ve experienced it first-hand on dry days during high tide.

City engineers are predicting another bout of high water during April, at the same time several projects large and small move ahead to battle the salt water.

Bay Road and Collins Canal in November, 2012.

Bay Road and Collins Canal in November, 2012 (Josh Fisher).

Along the Collins Canal, work continues on the new seawall and adjacent bike and pedestrian path. Thanks to Belle Isle’s Josh Fisher for these photos of the sea wall work where Bay Road dead-ends on the south side of the canal, from last week and a comparative shot during a high-water period in November 2012.

Construction continues on the pumping stations in Sunset Harbour in an attempt to bring relief in particular to the mess at Purdy and Venetian Way across from Maurice Gibb Park and the corner of Purdy and 20th Street at the Pubbelly curve.

Location of drainage construction corridors.

Location of drainage construction corridors.

And April is when construction is supposed to begin on the much talked avout Alton Road reconstruction project, which includes new pumping stations at Fifth, 10th and 14th streets.

Collins Canal bike path should be complete by late April, city says

Bike path and seawall work between Alton Road and Michigan.

Bike path and seawall work between Alton Road and Michigan.

Stalled work on the Collins Canal seawall and bike path has resumed, and the project should be complete in late April, Belle Isle residents were told this week.

Construction on the seawall and bike path was halted last fall after Miami-Dade prosecutors arrested former Miami Beach procurement director Gus Lopez on  63 charges including racketeering, bid-tampering and illegal compensation in connection with a dozen different city contracts. The bike path contract, with Harbour Construction, is one of the projects tied to that investigation.

The city has decided to move forward with the work, said Rick Saltrick, chief capital projects engineer for the city.

“We stopped work for a while because of procurement issues,” he told a gathering of the Belle Isle Residents Association on Wednesday night. ” We decided to go ahead and let him finish….We shouldn’t punish the rest of the city” with an unfinished project.

Harbour Construction had already been been paid more than $3.6 million on the $4 million project. The Miami Herald reported that police said company employees admitted to falsifying a letter of credit and receiving leaked information about other companies’ bids.

The project extends the existing bike path from where Dade Boulevard splits off of 17th Street at the Collins Canal bridge to Convention Center Drive.  In all, it’s 2,900 long, and will enable bikers, runners and parents pushing strollers to get from Belle Isle to the beach on a nice sidewalk all the way.

The improvements include raising the existing seawall to address times of high water. Completed, the path will feature a wider concrete path, landscaping and improved lighting using LED fixtures.

Get ready to detour; Dade Boulevard closing again

Dade Boulevard will be closed eastbound from the bridge at the split with 17th Street Bridge to Alton Road starting early Friday morning, and traffic will be detoured through 17th Street.

It’s part of the continuing construction of the Collins Canal bikeway, and will continue for much of the next week.

Belle Isle residents to meet; topics range from road and bridge construction to casinos to ING Marathon

The Belle Isle Residents Association holds its annual meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19 in the board room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave.

It starts at 6 p.m. with socializing; the meeting begins at 7. Here’s the full plan for the evening:

Miami Beach officials will be on hand to discuss ongoing and upcoming projects, answer your questions and hear your comments on issues that affect our neighborhood.

 To be added to our e-mail list or to apply to serve on the Belle Isle Residents Association Board, please send an email tobod@belle-isle-residents.org or call Scott Diffenderfer at 305-458-3334.


 1.   Welcome and Introductions

2.   Project update/community information

  • Miami Beach Community Resource & Outreach Team – Lynn Bernstein
  • Belle Isle Park update/input from residents – Parks Department
  • Project Updates – Richard Saltryck, Public Works
    • Collins Canal seawall & Dade Blvd. shared use bike path
    • Restriping of Dade Blvd./Venetian Way and effects on traffic
    • Miami Beach/Miami-Dade County construction timeline on Venetian Way
    • Proposed West Avenue Bridge Update
  • Venetian Way Bridge Refurbishment/Replacement – Herb Frank
  • Destination Casino Bill Opposition Update – Sandy Money/Herb Frank
  • Other projects and questions from residents

3.   Upcoming Events affecting Venetian Way

  • American Fencing Conference – Jan. 23-27, 2012 – Bus Traffic
  • IMG Miami Marathon – Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 – Road Closures/Race Logistics – Whitney Murphy
  • Miami International Boat Show – Feb. 16-20, 2012 – Bus, Boat Traffic

4.   Treasurer’s Report

5.   President’s Report and all other questions from residents

6.   Approval of the Minutes from the January 2011 Annual Meeting

7.   Nominating Committee

  • Board of Directors Slate for 2012 & Election of new Board Members

8.   New Business

9.   Adjourn

A look at the bike path upgrade

Before and after rending of bike path east of Purdy.

With construction starting next week, we finally got our hands on some renderings of the mix-use path planned for the Collins Canal-Dade Boulevard corridor.

It looks a little less exciting than described (I’m not sure what they mean by “elevated” in the written descriptions) but it definitely will provide a safe path for walking and running and biking and strollering.

Some blog commenters anticipated something like the HiLine in New York City; if that’s your expectation, this is a big disappointment. But if you want a way to run to the beach without taking your life in your hands this will work nicely.

Here's the stretch where landscaping was an issue.

The second rendering highlights the before and after view along Dade Boulevard across from Publix, where tree activists complained landscaping was inadequate. You can see there is little but scrub there now.

But in other areas, the plan calls for some really nice landscaping, as the last rendering shows. Thanks to the city of Miami Beach for providing these to share.

Before and after of mixed-use path near Meridian.

Dade Boulevard to close for a month for construction

Sketches of the railing for the path.

We reported work would begin quickly on the elevated bike-walk path along the Collins Canal. How quickly?

Starting next Tuesday — Jan. 17 — road crews will close eastbound Dade Boulevard from where is starts at the 17th Street/Dade Boulevard split near Sunset Harbour to Alton Road. (note: signs on Venetian Way near the closure say it will happen Thursday, Jan. 12, but the city says it won’t be til next week).

The closure is taking place so work can begin on the Collins Canal seawall replacement, which has to happen before the multi-use path is put in place.

“The closure is necessitated for the equipment needed to drive the pilings for the seawall project,” said city of Miami Beach spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez.

“The closure is only eastbound on Dade Boulevard between the 17 Street Bridge and Alton Road. The bridge will remain open and the closure does not affect westbound lanes. The piling work must be completed before the Boat Show move-in begins.”

The signs warning of the closure on the Venetian Causeway say the closure will last until Feb. 10.

In the meantime, drivers from Belle and other Venetian Islands will have to detour by continuing east on 17th Street and then turning north on Alton.

Dade Boulevard bike path plan sparks green energy vs. green canopy battle

In some ways this sounds too good to be true:

Miami Beach is poised to start work work on an elevated, safe pathway that would enable bicyclists, walkers and runners to pass from Belle Isle all the way to the beach along the Collins Canal south of Dade Boulevard.

The Dade Boulevard Mixed Use plan is fully funded. There is state money to rebuild and elevate the seawall on the Collins Canal (some of this work, from Washington Avenue east to 23rd Street, is already complete) and federal money to build the 8-foot-wide path and railing adjacent to the seawall.

On Tuesday, the city of Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board will be asked to bless the proposal. They might not.

The project — green in the sense that is will help boost Miami Beach’s growing bicycle culture — has run into opposition from Miami Beach’s Green Space Tree Advocacy Committee.

All of this will play out before the preservation board, which is involved because the Collins Canal is historically significant, and much of the pathway forms the northern boundary (along with the canal) of the historic Palm View neighborhood south of the canal.

Michael Jarboe, a Palm View resident and member of the Palm View Historic District Association, is an advocate of the proposal, which he says “is an amazing project too long in coming to provide safe travel on what has been one of the most dangerous streets in Miami Beach.”

A federal requirement for the pathway is that is be a minimum of eight feet wide. Imagine two bikes passing each other, or a runner and a bike, or a wheel chair and a bike, and that seems sensible.

Throughout most of the 2,900-foot length of the path, the completed project will include lusher vegetation than currently exists. All the greenery will be new because the existing greenery will be removed whether the path is built or not. That’s a result of the seawall work, which is already going forward.

But there is a 650-foot stretch of the 2900-foot-long path — south of the intersection of Dade Boulevard and Michigan,  across from the old Publix — where there is no room for replacement trees if the path is built.

And that has become the focus of the fight.

“For this group, the trees trump public safety and even though nothing has ever really grown along this stretch except weeds, the odd bush and garbage,” the entire project is in jeopardy, Jorboe says.

On the rest of the route, the green canopy will be doubled from what’s there now.

One alternative suggested is rebuilding Dade Boulevard and shifting it north four feet to make more room for trees along the path. There’s no money in any budget to do that work, which has a cost estimate of $4 million.

Meanwhile, the Belle Isle Residents Association is backing the mixed-use path plan. So is Change.org, which is getting petition signatures in support. DecoBikes includeda link to the petition in its latest newsletter.

The meeting happens Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr.