Lincoln Road facelift plans may face downscaling
Lincoln Road is up for a facelift, but Miami Beach city staff and stakeholders are looking to reduce the scope of the original Lincoln Road Master Plan to minimize impact on local businesses and meet a narrower budget necessitated by the pandemic’s financial impacts on the city.
This week, commissioners are to discuss a resolution that would downsize the project’s budget from $67 million to $52.4 million and ask contracted architecture and engineering firm James Corner Field Operations to produce new drawings fitting the revised plan.
According to a memo addressed to commissioners by City Manager Jimmy Morales, the $52.4 million revised budget is limited to funds already available for the project. A breakdown includes “$40 million for Lincoln Road from Lenox Avenue to Washington Avenue, $10 million for Meridian Avenue from Lincoln Road to 17th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue from Lincoln Road to Lincoln Lane North, Drexel Avenue from 16th Street to Lincoln Lane North, and related underground infrastructure, and $2.4 million for security bollards.”
Tim Schmand, executive director of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, told Miami Today in September that one of the most costly and intrusive elements, a mass removal and renovation of the street’s sidewalks, is the first item on the chopping block. With local businesses hit hard by the coronavirus, he said, removal of sidewalks could pose accessibility challenges to already-ailing shop owners.
The goal, Mr. Schmand said, is to “refresh the road” by improving pedestrian, seating and cultural space and polishing architectural and landscape elements.
Beach administration, the memo said, is hoping to maintain many elements of the original plan including restoration of fountains, landscape elements, seating areas, signage, “piano keys” and the Lapidus’ follies. Other improvements will include infrastructure upgrades at Meridian and Drexel avenues and the installation of a playground.
As of now, the memo said, the project’s scope will include Lincoln Road from Lenox Avenue to Washington Avenue, Meridian Avenue from Lincoln Road to 17th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue from Lincoln Road to Lincoln Lane North, and Drexel Avenue from 16th Street to Lincoln Lane North.
Infrastructure improvements on Meridian and Drexel avenues, it said, include water, sanitary sewer and storm drainage upgrades as well as pedestrianization of Drexel Avenue.
A security barrier system including plantings, bollards and follies is still on the table, which Mr. Schmand said in September was an important aspect of the project for stakeholders hoping to get rid of the “Jersey Barriers” that currently block traffic on the road.
Elements city staff propose removing or reducing include under-pavement work, new security camera infrastructure, a gateway trellis at Washington Avenue, electrical upgrades, crosswalk improvements and some landscaping and site furnishing improvements.
Construction costs for the modified plan, to be built by Burkhardt Construction, will be $34 million to $36 million, according to the memo. The project budget of $52.4 million, it said, also includes labor, materials, contractor fee and contingency, the cost of plans, specifications and surveys, architecture and engineering, legal expenses, permit and city fees and owner’s contingency.