FYI Miami: July 14, 2016
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COSTLY BAGGAGE: Mayor Carlos Gimenez has reversed himself and is asking commissioners to approve a contract to construct a baggage handling system at Miami International Airport for almost $7.5 million for pre-construction phases and up to $177 million for construction for Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture after recommending last month that the county reject all four bidders and start over. He wrote to commissioners that he learned after his June 7 rejection memo that the US Transportation Security Administration was concerned that time could be lost in re-procurement and if so it would withdraw its $101 million grant to fund most of the project. The commission’s Trade & Tourism Committee is to hear the mayor’s request this week. The project is to replace the in-line security screening portion of the South Terminal’s baggage handling system and install automatic sortation for the Central Terminal.
TRANSPORTATION INITIATIVES UNDER WRAPS: Months after the end of the Florida Department of Transportation’s 826/836 Carpool Incentive Program, which paid motorists to carpool during construction on state roads 826 and 836, the state prepares to announce next year’s initiatives. Jim Udvardy, project director for South Florida Commuter Services, which ran the program on behalf of the department, told Miami Today in March that the carpool program had been evaluated as a model for future initiatives. Now, he said, they are in the process of setting those up with hopes of introducing them next year but won’t release more information until next month.
AIRPORT SOARS: Passenger arrivals rose 3.3% at Miami International Airport in the first five months of this year to total more than 9.5 million people, according to figures from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Domestic arrivals alone rose 5.5% to surpass 5 million in the period, with international arrivals increasing 1% to just under 4.5 million.
GREEN FROM BLUE: Florida Blue has donated $115,000 to the Underline, a 10-mile-long pathway under the Metrorail. “The underline is an extraordinary example of businesses and communities coming together to support a healthy lifestyle,” said Penny Shaffer, Florida Blue’s South Florida market president. The total cost of the project is estimated at $100 million.