Downtown Miami inlet a dredging dump site?
By Jacquelyn Weiner
The vast quantity of sand dug up in planned Port of Miami deep dredging must go somewhere, and Miami-Dade County is eyeing a seven-acre inlet separating AmericanAirlines Arena from Bicentennial Park.
Miami-Dade's Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee on Monday asked for a feasibility probe on filling the inlet.
Yet the canal, which houses the Florida East Coast Railway slip, has long been part of the City of Miami's Museum Park (Bicentennial Park) Master Plan as a prime, accessible mooring spot for large vessels.
More than $10 million has been pumped into the project, said Robert Weinreb, city project manager, with work completed on new seawalls financed partly by Florida Inland Navigation District grants. The city this year installed mooring bollards to secure boats.
"The city just put all this money into the park and the slip and the mooring," he said. "It's all pretty brand new and in good condition."
The city owns the bottom of Biscayne Bay, he added, and several agencies would have to sign off on any infill.
Area city Commissioner Marc Sarnoff opposes infill, citing the already-completed work, expenditures and plans for prominent boats to welcome visitors at the space.
"The seawall was built to retain those boats," he said. "It makes very little sense to fill the corridor."
The county's view, in its legislation, is that added land "would provide a natural, continuous flow" from the museums to the arena.
Potential uses include a park, retail, restaurants or space for museum expansion, the legislation says.
Due in October, the study is to include whether material removed in the Port of Miami tunnel or deep-dredging can be used as infill and the potential funding.
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