Brickell to stay torn up longer
By Lauren Redding
Commuters will have to tolerate current construction along Brickell Avenue, originally slated to be finished in February, until at least August — leaving little time before the next batch of renovations begins in the fall.
Work began in January 2011 to improve traffic flow with new left turn lanes on Southeast 15th Road, alleviate flooding with a new pump station between Southeast 12th and 13th streets, and upgrade signage and pavement markings.
But after what after lead engineer Andres Berisiartu called "several unforeseen conflicts," completion has been pushed back for the third time.
$8.3 million of the budgeted $10 million has already been spent, Mr. Berisiartu said. Although he noted the delays have led to higher costs, he declined to specify how much.
"Several unforeseen conflicts have also been encountered throughout the life of the project, which have delayed construction because of the time it has taken to resolve the issues," he said. "This additional time required to complete the project is a direct result of the additional work needed to resolve these issues as well as the procurement time for any additional materials needed for this work."
Work already completed includes most of the sidewalk and pedestrian ramp replacement along Brickell, road widening at Southeast 15th Road and concrete roadway replacement.
The new pump station has been installed at the median of Brickell and Southeast 12th Street and is waiting testing on final electrical connections. The contractor has also installed a new water main along Brickell at Southeast 12th Street and a new sewer force main from Southeast 12th Street to Southeast Eighth Street.
Final work over the next several weeks includes installing decorative lights and completing the sanitary sewer line along southbound Brickell Avenue from the 1100 block to Southeast 13th Street/Coral Way. When that is finished, the contractor will restore the concrete roadway and complete a decorative crosswalk, Mr. Berisiartu said.
But once that work is finished, drivers will have little time before the Florida Department of Transportation begins its Brickell Avenue Roadway Project, which extends from Southeast Eighth to Fifth streets. It was originally slated to begin in September and last 140 days, but is now estimated to start in October and last 200 days.
The project was designed after a transportation department study counted 62 rear-end and sideswipe collisions on Brickell between Southeast Fifth and Eighth streets from 2006 to 2008.
Of these crashes, 20 resulted from left-turn vehicles failing to yield to oncoming crashes, 11 of them as northbound Brickell vehicles turned left onto Southeast Sixth Street.
As a result, the Brickell Avenue median at Southeast Sixth Street was designated a "high-crash spot" and is to be closed permanently to prevent left turns.
H&J Asphalt Inc. is to complete the project, which includes:
nIncreasing the lengths of the left turn lanes on northbound Brickell Avenue at Southeast Fifth and Southeast Seventh streets.
nClosing the median at Brickell Avenue and Southeast Sixth Street to restrict northbound turns for eastbound traffic and westbound turns for northbound traffic.
nConverting the northbound outside travel lane at Brickell Avenue and Southeast Eighth Street from an exclusive right-turn only lane to a shared through/right-turn lane.
nInstalling new signs and a traffic signal and optimizing traffic signal timing.
nInstalling decorative crosswalks that will match newly installed walks further south on Brickell.
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