Tag Archives: sea-level rise

How rising seas threaten our homes on Belle Isle and surrounding islands and neighborhoods

With sea-level rise of two feet, we see significant flooding.

With sea-level rise of two feet, we see significant flooding.

More than most, residents of our neighborhoods know the realities. Our streets have flooded for years at high tide, and we’ve endured the cost and inconvenience of road raising and pumping installation projects that will attempt to keep our neighborhoods dry.

We own or rent properties at risk from rising seas. Many of us wonder when, even with higher sea walls and pumping stations, the sea may be lapping at our door.

The Florida International University’s School of Journalism & Communication did a nifty project on sea-level rise and its South Florida impact, called Eyes on the Rise. As part of it, they created a tool that allows you to project how different levels of rising seas could impact South Florida. Using the tool, you can look at specific addresses.

At three feet, the sea spreads.

At three feet, the sea spreads.

We’ve reviewed the impact on Belle Isle and the surrounding areas with a sea level rise of two, three or four feet, but you could do this yourself and put in your house or building address to see a full range from no-rise to six feet.

At four, all wet.

At four, all wet.

For context, scientists now project a rise of 6 to 10 inches in our area by 2030. Six feet of water level appears outside of our lifetime, but nevertheless, all the projections are sobering.

Once sea-level rise reaches two feet,  buildings are in jeopardy — Costa Brava, Island Terrace and the Venetian Isle Apartments on Belle Isle, for example.

condosAs the water rises, more buildings and neighborhoods are swamped along with the homes on the Venetian islands and high-rises in Sunset Harbour and down West Avenue. As you use the tool, you see all of Sunset Harbour under water except for Sunset Harbour 1800, 1900 and the Townhouses. So is virtually all of West Avenue, the Venetian Islands and all of Belle Isle except the Grand Venetian, the Vistas, 9 Island Avenue, 3 Island Avenue and the Standard.

The Real Deal website compiled a list of major condos at risk at different level or sea level rise.

 

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Brace yourselves. New road, apartment, commercial projects planned around Belle Isle

IMG_5349The Belle Isle Residents Association meets on Thursday, Jan. 21, and island residents can expect updates on a list of challenges:

— We’ll get a look at what’s planned to replace the apartment complex called Belle Isle Key, 31 Venetian Way, on the northeast quadrant of Belle Isle. If you remember, residents in 2010 successfully fought to scale back a previous proposal for the site, which now accommodates 120 rental apartments on 3.5 acres. But the developer decided it wasn’t worth building, and five years later has come back with a new plan.

Rendering of proposed Marriott hotel

— We’ll learn about other projects planned at our doorstep: in Sunset Harbour, and on West Avenue and Alton Road. Did you know the old Boston Market site is being planned as a hotel by the same developer that shoe-horned the Marriott Residence Inn on the sliver of land north of 17th Street at West Avenue? More proposals are in the works for the land south of 17th Street between West and Alton and other sites.

venetisnmeet— We’ll hear a road construction and elevation update. The only truly good news — at least for most — is that the westernmost Venetian bridge is projected to reopen at the end of February. But more Venetian bridge work will follow. And the elevation work in Sunset Harbour will continue, and then comes more work on West Avenue and the construction of a new West Avenue bridge that links Sunset Harbour with the corridor to the south.

The meeting, at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave., begins with a social at 6 p.m. Serious business starts at 7 p.m., and also includes election of association officers.

Here’s the full agenda:

Belle Isle Residents Association 2016 Annual Meeting Agenda

ALL RESIDENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Join us for Wine at 6:00PM

Annual Meeting at 7:00PM

20 Island Avenue Meeting Room (Belle Plaza)

Agenda

  • Welcome & Introductions of BIRA Board and City Officials present, Scott Diffenderfer
  • Annual Meeting Business
    • Approval of minutes from 2015 Annual Meeting
    • Treasurers report, Herb Frank
    • Election of board members and officers for 2016 Nominating Committee
  • Introduction of Commissioners and Elected officials present
  • Caroline DeFreze, City of Miami Beach Community Resource Coordinator (confirmed) will introduce will introduce police and transportation officials
  • Update on area projects, Lynn Bernstein/Bruce Mowry, Ph.D., P.E., City of Miami Beach Engineer (both confirmed)
    • West Avenue Bridge Design and Construction Timeline
    • Sunset Harbour Streets and pumps
    • Update on West Avenue and other city streets; upcoming projects
    • Open questions from residents
  • Update on  reopening of Venetian causeway bridge as well as long range rehabilitation from FDOT/Miami-Dade County (not confirmed yet)
  • Miami Beach Police (not confirmed yet)
  • Update on Watson Island Project and Lawsuit, Roger Craver, Coalition for Causeway Chaos (Scott meeting with him on Wednesday to confirm)
  • Park Update, Garry Korr
  • Belle isle Residents Association Goals for 2016
  • Other Business, Open Forum and questions from residents

Residents meet tonight to discuss West Avenue Streetscape

A residents group is meeting tonight to discuss the upcoming streetscape improvements on West Avenue. It starts at 6 p.m. at the 1688 West Avenue.

The meeting, in the condo meeting room at that address, will give neighbors an overview of what’s ahead for the West Avenue project, an 18-month effort to reduce flooding and add wider sidewalks, a bike path, pedestrian crosswalks and shade trees to the area between Fifth and 17th streets.

Some work has already begun on 17th Street and the area of West Avenue just south of 17th Street. And part of West Avenue will close this week (requiring a detour) for work on a new pumping station at 14th Street.

In all, the work is expected to last a year and a half, and it will be done in phases. The first phase is nearest to Sunset Harbour and the Venetian Isles. A second phase is the area between Fifth and Eighth streets.

And then there are two other major work areas, at 10th and 14th streets. The entire project, which won’t be completed until 2017, will also include rebuilding Bay Road south of the Collins Canal.

Pump station work at 14th Street will cause West Avenue closure next week

The reconstruction of West Avenue has scarcely begun, and there is a big-time detour happening next week.Alton_map_022015 (1)

Starting Monday, West Avenue will be closed between 12th and 15th streets in advance of the installation of underground pump station structures and pipes at 14th Street.

The work is part of a larger project to add five new pumping stations in the Alton Road – West Avenue corridor at Fifth, Seventh, 10th, 14th and 17th streets, in addition to raising West Avenue as much as three feel to combat flooding.

For next week’s work, northbound drivers on West Avenue will have to turn east on 12th Street to Alton Road, then head north on Alton before turning left on 15th Street to return to West Avenue.

Southbound drivers will have to turn left on 15th Street, then right on Alton, right on 12th Street and left to continue south on West Avenue.

In addition there will be lane closures on 17th Street east of the Collins Canal, an inconvenience that started last week.

Belle Isle residents meeting to focus on upcoming projects — from Watson Island to West Avenue

If you feel like that the construction projects around our island paradise never end, that’s because….they never end.

The Belle Isle Residents Association meets on Tuesday. The agenda is packed with presentations that affect Belle Isle, Sunset Harbour and the other Venetian Islands.  A sampling:

— A report from the city of Miami Beach on the construction timeline and design for the West Avenue bridge, which will extend West Avenue over the Collins Canal to connect Sunset Harbour with the area south of 17th Street.

— An overview of the upcoming reconstruction of West Avenue south to Fifth Street, including the plan to raise the roadway as much as three feet to combat flooding.

–An update on the closure and rebuilding of the westernmost span of the Venetian Causeway, which will disrupt traffic throughout the Venetian Islands

— A presentation from the organization that is fighting the proposed mega-marina project on Watson Island, which is expected to affect traffic on the MacArthur, Tuttle and Venetian causeways.

And that’s just a start. The meeting begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., and important information at 7 p.m. It happens in the card room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Avenue.

 

As Alton Road construction winds down, plans for West Avenue gear up

The city of Miami Beach is holding a public meeting Monday to share construction plans for West Avenue between Fifth and 17 streets.

Please don’t tell us you thought the completion of work on Alton Road would end the west side disruption on South Beach. Nope.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr. It will be in the city manager’s large conference room on the fourth floor.

City engineer Bruce Mowry is supposed to provide an overview of the West Avenue Neighborhood Improvement Project, which includes the elevation of streets and sidewalks and drainage initiatives to deal with flooding issues.