River Walks Among City Projects For New Year
By Yeleny Suarez
Early phases to create a Miami River greenway are among 11 capital-improvement projects the City of Miami plans to launch in January.
The greenway project is a four- to five-year plan to build waterfront walkways and a tourism destination along the Miami River in an effort to highlight the area in a way that will co-exist with planned commercial development as well as existing industry.
Work on an accompanying $1.8 million streetscape project is the first step in the project and would add road milling and resurfacing, sidewalks, drainage, landscaping and lighting.
Miami River Commission Managing Director Brett Bibeau said Tuesday that 60% of documentation for the streetscape project is completed and workers should break ground early next year.
"One exciting section currently under construction is Lummus Landing on 404 NW Third St., the oldest park in the city of Miami," he said. "The park has been blocked by a chain-link fence for more than a decade, and once riverfront construction is finished, the fence will be removed."
The Florida Department of Transportation is providing about $6.2 million to build the greenway, which is to stretch 11 miles along both sides of the 5.5-mile river. The Knight Foundation gave $2.5 million, which was used for engineering and construction plans.
Another $7.5 million from a bond issue passed in November by Miami-Dade County voters is expected to go toward the greenway project.
Miami officials say they have 21 capital-improvement projects planned through May at a total estimated construction cost of $43 million. All have been approved by the city commission.
Contractors for individual projects need to be hired before the work can begin. The selection process could affect the city’s timetable.
"Dates are subject to change forward or back depending on when the pre-construction meetings are scheduled and the outcome of them," said Danette Perez, Miami’s capital-improvement coordinator.
One of the city’s other projects will be $3 million in improvements to Memorial Boulevard between Southwest Eighth Street through Coral Way and 13th Avenue. Work will include road repairs, upgraded storm drainage, intersection enhancement and asphalt surfacing.
Other projects on the city’s 2005 schedule that officials plan to have under way by May include:
N$9.1 million for changing one-way traffic to two-way along the Flagler Street Marketplace. Workers will resurface pavement, add landscaping and lighting.
N$6.7 million for a two-phase drainage project in Liberty City.
N$2.6 million for right-of-way and site improvements to Shenandoah Park.
N$2 million in road improvements on Northwest 14th Street.
N$1.4 million to restore the old police precinct and museum courthouse at 1009 NW Fifth Ave. for use as a museum and community center.
N$1.1 million for sewer and pump-station installation at Virginia Key Beach to serve existing and future development.
N$1.1 million for Northwest 15th Street improvements.