Miami compiles $432 million, 34-project transportation stimulus list
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
The City of Miami is asking the county's planning organization to consider a $432 million list of 34 transportation projects for federal stimulus money.
City Manager Pete Hernandez said the state is handing federal funding for local transportation projects to Miami-Dade's Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Miami-Dade transportation planning arm.
"We have been able to fine tune the list to meet certain criteria for eligibility," he said.
Selected transportation projects have to be ready to go in either 90 days or by June 2010.
According to the city's list, 23 projects are ready to begin construction within a three-month time totaling $44.9 million in needed funding estimated to create 898 jobs.
Projects include citywide drainage and sidewalk improvements, each at a price of $10 million and a job creation of 200.
Another item calls for buying rubber-tire trolleys to connect communities to Downtown Miami, Brickell and the Health District estimated to cost $5 million and yield 100 jobs.
The city also asks for $2 million in funding to restore the Brickell Key Bridge that would create 40 jobs.
Six additional items, ranging from $700,000 to $850,000 in required costs, are to provide trolley services to Little Havana, Coconut Grove, Allapattah, Southeast Overtown and Park West area, and downtown's upper eastside.
The list shows each trolley project could generate more than a dozen jobs.
Another 11 transportation and road projects — totaling $387 million in needed funds that would create 2,704 jobs — could be ready to go by mid-2010, the city's list shows
The Miami Streetcar project — a light rail train connection from downtown to the Design District and the Health District — is one of them.
Miami is asking for $280 million to build the streetcar that would generate 560 jobs. Also, listed are plans for roadway and drainage improvements along South Bayshore Drive at a cost of $8 million and creating 160 jobs.
Another $20 million is requested to build a pedestrian-accessible sidewalk and make hardscape and landscape improvements along the roadway and Miami River — from Northwest Seventh to Northwest 12th avenues and Northwest Third Avenue to Bicentennial Park.
This project would lead to 400 new jobs.
The city also seeks $15 million to build a sidewalk and make landscape improvements along the roadway and river, west of Northwest 12th Avenue, yielding 300 jobs.
Mr. Hernandez said the city is keeping a close watch on the economic recovery package, which got Senate approval on Tuesday, to look for other ready-to-go projects that meet federal eligibility.
City departments have been directed to look at potential projects, he said.
"We need to prepare as much as we can in advance, so when eligibility becomes available we can move forward expeditiously."