FYI Miami: April 2, 2020
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
FLORIDA COVID-19 DISASTER: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that federal emergency aid is available for Florida to help the state, tribes and local governments in recovery efforts related to Covid-19. Federal funding is also available to state, tribal and local governments, as well as to private nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis, for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance for all areas affected by the virus at a federal cost share of 75%. FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech is the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the area, FEMA said, adding that additional aid designations “may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the result of further assessments.”
KROME CONSTRUCTION COMPLETE: Most roadway rebuilding, widening and improvements on Krome Avenue in West Miami-Dade has ended after 14 months, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) said. The $37.8 million project, which contractor Halley Engineering Contractors Inc. launched in January 2019, stretched along Krome between Southwest 23nd and 136th streets and included a new drainage system, multi-use trail for walking and biking, widening the road from two to four lanes, adding a 40-foot median with a guardrail, adding lights along the corridor, construction of a bridge over the C-102 Canal and traffic signal upgrades between Southwest 184th and 232nd streets. One more section of Krome continues, FDOT said, between Southwest 232nd and 312th streets.
PRE-VIRUS CONSTRUCTION SOARED: The value of construction started in South Florida this year before the coronavirus took hold soared by the end of February, up 43% from the end of February 2019. The total value of new construction in the region for those two months was more than $2.2 billion, according to figures from Dodge Data & Analytics. February alone was up 48% in construction start value from the level of February 2019. For the first two months of the year nonresidential new starts had a $719 million value, up 20% from 2019, while residential starts were up 58% for the area of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
INFRASTRUCTURE SPEED-UP: Florida might speed up some infrastructure projects, taking advantage of motorists staying off roads because of the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday. “Given that the traffic is down and everything, I’m going to be looking at accelerating some of these infrastructure projects,” he told reporters. “When you’re doing those on busy roads, it causes a lot of problems. When those [roads] are no longer busy, and if that’s going to be the case for the next month, then we’re going to need to make use of that time.”