A year later, Brickell swap rolling
Written by John Charles Robbins on May 14, 2014
One year to the day after they formally began the process, Miami commissioners on May 8 adopted a resolution that will see the city take over Brickell Avenue from the state in a swap for parts of two streets.
The commission unanimously voted to transfer responsibility for Northwest 14th Street from Northwest 42nd Court to east of Northwest 37th Avenue (State Road 836 westbound off ramp) and Northwest Third Avenue from West Flagler Street to Northwest Eighth Street to the Florida Department of Transportation.
A May 8, 2013, commission resolution declared the city’s desire to take responsibility for Brickell from I-95 to Southwest Eighth Street, and its intent to request transfer of additional streets from the city street system to the state highway system by mutual agreement.
The commission adopted a resolution June 13 for the city to assume responsibility, maintenance and control of Brickell with the condition that the city transfer certain streets to the state.
Both sides had hoped to wrap up the deal by last Sept. 30, but it took more time.
The original proposal offered to swap a few city streets, including Southwest/ Southeast First Street from Southwest Second Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard, Northwest/ Northeast First Street from Biscayne Boulevard to Northwest Third Avenue, Northwest Third Avenue from West Flagler Street to the northbound I-95 entrance ramp from Northwest Eighth Street and Northwest Third Court from Northwest Third Street to West Flagler Street.
But some of those streets lay in former commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones’ district, and she opposed yielding city control, lambasting the transportation department for its interaction with Overtown and for not delivering on promises.
Other swaps were considered as the proposal advanced. The city and transportation department must mutually approve transfers.
The last public airing of the proposal was Jan. 21 at a Brickell Avenue meeting seeking public comment on the location, conceptual design, and social, economic and environmental effects of the transfer.
Although it wasn’t a sure thing, city officials continued to express confidence in getting Brickell. A few commissioners said the city has been maintaining Brickell Avenue for years.
Last month Miami Today reported that behind-the-scenes work remained to make a swap.
Transfer of Brickell Avenue to the city is half of a two-part agreement, said Brian R. Rick, transportation department spokesman.
“While the Brickell portion of the transfer is ready to be signed and delivered, we are working with the city to help finalize the roads which they intend on swapping over to the FDOT. We expect to have this transfer finalized in the coming weeks,” Mr. Rick said in April.
Last week’s resolution noted that the city’s Capital Improvements/ Transportation Office and the Public Works Department had completed a citywide analysis of potential roadway transfers and targeted several corridors for transfer between governmental jurisdictions, with a final recommendation to transfer portions of Northwest 14th Street and Northwest Third Avenue.
After the transfer, the city will own, operate and maintain the affected slice of Brickell.
State roads face more restrictions, so winning jurisdiction of Brickell gives the city flexibility in making changes.