Written by Miami Today on December 31, 2009
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DOWNTOWN FORCES: Miami’s Downtown Development Authority may conduct its own analysis of the impact on the Adrienne Arsht Center of a proposed bridge to replace the existing 1.2-mile-long I-395 bridge that connects I-95 to the MacArthur Causeway. The study, most likely by an outside consultant, may cost up to $25,000 and either be managed by the center, with a grant from the authority, or handled by the authority itself, according to authority Executive Director Alyce Robertson. She said the authority is looking to protect the community’s existing $500 million investment in the center, whose appearances and acoustics may be impacted by both construction and the finished project. "This a very important institution for downtown," she said. "We want to make sure their interests are protected as the 395 project goes forward."
PROJECT PRIORITIES: As Miami-Dade officials work to assess which projects to be funded by general obligation bonds can be done when in light of county budget cuts, Commissioner Javier Souto is asking that the 15-year bond use plan be updated "in order to show a comparison of the plan as originally presented to the board [of commissioners] versus the current status of funding for each of the eligible projects," his legislation says. He wants to consider an updated list of projects to be funded by the second series of 2008 bonds at the commission’s first February meeting "to establish priorities." He this month deferred the proposal to the Jan. 13 Transportation, Infrastructure and Roads Committee meeting.
TRANSPORTATION UPDATE: The local district of the Florida Department of Transportation’s $3 billion-plus five-year work plan has shrunk by $60.4 million as "funding challenges" continue, district Secretary Gus Pego told the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization. About $2.3 billion is to be spent on construction and public transportation investments. Fifty-three projects are ongoing in the district, totaling $2.16 billion, Mr. Pego said, including a rental car center near Miami International Airport — set for a May opening — and the long-planned Port of Miami tunnels. Tunnel groundbreaking is expected in about seven months.
MONEY MAKERS: Interstate-95 northbound managed-toll lanes, Mr. Pego added, have generated $4.4 million during their first year, serving about 6.6 million vehicles. Drivers pay to use the dedicated lanes and avoid traffic on the main highway. Rates vary depending on congestion. Southbound managed lanes are in the works.
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