Tag Archives: drawbridge

Venetian Way drawbridge has been on lockdown; it may stay that way most of 2016

You might not have noticed this, but even though Venetian Way has been open from Miami to Miami Beach since March 1,  the easternmost drawbridge — between Rivo Alto and and Belle Isle — has remained locked down.

Only the drawbridge between Biscayne Island abd Miami has been in operation. The eastern drawbridge closed in April 2015, due to a mechanical failure, and it hasn’t reopened with the rest of the toll road.

That’s meant a little less traffic disruption due to marine traffic for those of us who live on the Venetian.

But work on fixing the span is expected to start in June, Miami-Dade County says, assuming it gets a contractor in place. The job isn’t expected to be finished before the end of 2016.

According to the County: “Precluding any complications during the next step of the County’s procurement process, the County has begun securing a contractor projected to begin the rehabilitation in June 2016. Upon awarding the project, the contractor should complete the work within 180 days; however, the bridge will continue to be in the closed position to marine traffic intermittently until the contractor completes the project. As the major components of the bridge are installed and/or become operational, the contractor shall coordinate with all affected parties when closing or opening the bridge to vehicular/pedestrian and/or marine traffic.”  

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Miami Beach will ask Coast Guard to close east Venetian drawbridge during construction

Mayor Philip Levine told Venetian Island residents that Miami Beach will ask the Coast Guard to lock down the east Venetian Causeway bridge during the construction of a new west bridge span that will start this fall.

Levine said he and City Manager Jimmy Morales would draft and send the letter, “and I will follow up with the Coast Guard commandant.”

Morales said it is important to get Miami-Dade County to join in on the request, because the county oversees the causeway. Levine and Morales plan to discuss the issue with Mayor Carlos Gimenez, they said.

Because of structural issues with the causeway bridges, Miami-Dade County expects to shut down the westernmost bridge to mainland Miami around November so the bridge span can be torn down and replaced.

It’s expected to be closed for nine months.

Miami and Miami Beach has been working on contingency plans to get rescue vehicles to the islands during the closure.

“For me, its really an emergency situation, if we can’t get to a resident if the bridge is up,” said Commissioner  Micky Steinberg, who scheduled the issue for discussion.

Venetian Island residents Tony Santos and Holly Sukanik Wallack asked the city to send a forceful letter to the Coast Guard.

“Locking down the east bridge ensures we have access for emergency fire and rescue vehicles,” Wallack said, noting that the east bridge was twice stuck in the up position during the last month — once for four hours.

Santos reminded commissioners of a recent death of a Venetian resident who suffered a heart attack and couldn’t be attended to by paramedics because of delays in getting across the drawbridge.

Miami Beach fire officials said that because the city of Miami cannot bring any fire trucks across the bridge. Miami has placed a pumper truck at the 1000 Venetian Way condo for emergency use. Miami could send firefighters to run the truck on pickup trucks until the bridge construction begins, and by boat after.