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Front Page » Government » I-395 signature bridge project advances

I-395 signature bridge project advances

Written by on August 9, 2016
I-395 signature bridge project advances

The Florida Department of Transportation is currently seeking design proposals after setting the minimum requirements for the signature I-395 bridge project, and for the open spaces underneath the elevated roadway, which are due back in late 2016.

At this time, six firms have been short-listed, according to Ivette Ruiz-Paz, media outreach specialist for the department’s District Six.

Included in the request for proposals was the Aesthetics Manuel which sets the minimum requirements for the bridge and plaza, Ms. Ruiz-Paz told Miami Today on Tuesday.

“The minimum requirements for the bridge include a minimum suspended span length of 500 feet and a minimum elevation above the ground of 245 feet,” she said. “The signature bridge must be a structural solution. The minimum requirements for the open spaces underneath are a combination of sidewalks and plantings. The drainage will be handled in a way to allow development of the full space in the future.”

According to Ms. Ruiz-Paz, the next major step is the pass/fail of the Aesthetic Signature Bridge proposals. She said the proposers with passing concepts may submit a final design proposal. The department anticipates awarding the project to the winning proposer by spring of next year.

The scope of the project includes a signature bridge and open spaces under the bridge to encourage community gatherings, Ms. Ruiz-Paz said.

The project is estimated to begin construction late 2017, she said, and will take about five years to complete.

The total project consists of four separate components: I-395 re-construction, I-95 pavement reconstruction, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s (MDX) widening of State Road 83611 and the Westbound Connector. The maximum construction funding for each component is: $555 million for I-395, $186 million for MDX SR 83611, $25 million for I-95 Pavement Reconstruction and $35 million for the westbound connector.

“This project addresses operational deficiencies, increases capacity, and improves safety,” Ms. Ruiz-Paz said. “It builds a landmark in our community that will change the skyline of Miami with the signature bridge, while providing gathering areas under the bridge that will enhance the communities. The project also reconnects historic Overtown.”

The Aesthetic Review Committee, involved in the evaluation of the aesthetics for the entire project, including the pass/fail of the Aesthetic Signature Bridge proposal, consists of five members: County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority; Alberto Parjus, assistant city manager, City of Miami; M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts; and Brian Blanchard, FDOT assistant secretary for Engineering & Operations.

7 Responses to I-395 signature bridge project advances

  1. DC Copeland

    August 10, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Such a waste of time and money. It’s only being rebuilt for aesthetics, not because it can’t handle the amount of traffic it now serves. This all began probably a decade ago when the Arsht Center (then Carnival) folks realized that the bridge over Biscayne Blvd was too low, that it divided downtown in half, that it had in fact separated it from all of the action and power on the south side of the bridge and made crossing under it a fearful and dangerous act since it was dark and a haven for the homeless begging for money. If there is any problem with traffic, it’s because of accidents and stop lights on the beach side of the MacArthur Causeway. Otherwise, traffic is rarely impeded. BTW, unless the “Aesthetic Manuel” is an all-knowing Cuban aesthete, it’s “manual.”

    • Claudio

      September 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      At least they are preparing for sea level rise in a 500′ stretch of the bridge so beach residents can run for high & dry elevation when time comes other than that is a total waste of time & money as you state.

  2. Gerwyn Flax

    August 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Let’s hope it’s not the rendering above. That is far from being a “signature bridge”. Maybe something comparable to the Tampa bridge. How does this remedy the issue of deviding the city? Higher or not, there will still be an overpass at Biscayne. The real solution would be to tunnel under Biscayne.

  3. Jose Pepe Cancio

    August 13, 2016 at 11:26 am

    FDOT future I-395 bridge project with the 3 other associated projects will improve traffic,safety and will reduce the bottleneck in I-95 and the 836 expressway

    Jose Pepe Cancio
    Former County Commissioner
    Former MDX Board member

  4. Elliot

    August 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    This is a boondoggle and a TOTAL WASTE of tax payer money. I for one hope that this project gets rescinded and never built. A “designer bridge”, are they completely out of their minds? They want to decorate the interstate with what amounts to an emblem (an embarrassing one at that) over Biscayne Blvd. Miami has MUCH GREATER NEEDS that this money can be applied to. I wish to request that the state reject this boondoggle and toss that idea into the trash. If there is genuinely a bottleneck or traffic problem there that needs to be addressed at that interchange then do it on the need for practicality and in line with what a well functioning interstate should be. Not waste the money on trying to make the bridge “pretty and decorative”. What planet are some of our civic leaders on anyway.

  5. Alexander Adams

    August 28, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Let me get this straight- Over 600 MILLION for a land bridge that will create dead urban spaces around it, but 600 million for Bay Link would connect the top state city tourism destination and the state’s largest downtown economic engine. Hmmm…. (What criteria are we using to prioritize FDOT projects?)

  6. Eric Stratton

    September 8, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Save the outrage and study it a bit more.
    #1 Look at it. An aerial image on Google Earth to see how 395 snakes to the south, then snakes back to the north in between the waterfront to I95.
    #2. Drive it. From the water front westbound to I95. Cars enter from the ramp on right AND they enter from the left in about the same place. There are cars from the north entry ramp desperately crossing lanes to get all the way over to go south on 95, and cars entering the highway from the south ramp crossing all lanes to go north on I95. Try it.
    #3. Study it. Bridge engineers estimate that the current bridge is high on their danger list for unsafe structures. It is falling apart. To repair/replace will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Signature bridge or no signature bridge.
    #4. Walk it. (if you dare) From the waterfront to I95. Notice the big dirt berms that cut off the waterfront access and vistas. Notice the site where the guy ate another guy’s face. Take in the little encampments in the bushes. It improves to its best when under the decrepit bridge at Biscayne Blvd. you have a few acres of surface parking lots. Keep walking west to recognize you are the only one doing so, and that there aren’t any businesses or people succeeding.

    That very short stretch of highway is an absolute disaster. It MUST be fixed. It’s a NEED not a WANT. As long as this project is happening, let’s ensure that the leaders use this opportunity to do it well. Suspending a bridge from a height of 30+ feet eliminates all the dirt berms, opens up the vistas, eliminates barriers between neighborhoods, and will a catalyst for economic development.