Work Grounds Alton Road Flyover
By Samantha Joseph
Alton Road will have narrower travel lanes, wider sidewalks and a median — all of which will slow traffic and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, once the Florida Department of Transportation completes major road work stretching from Fifth Street to Michigan Avenue.
Travel lanes will shrink 3 feet, going from 14 feet to 11, and the curb line will extend to create broader sidewalks. A new median will add to that concept, serving as a landing spot for pedestrians crossing the street.
“This is something residents have indicated they wanted for a very long time,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin. “Alton Road is a wide and busy roadway. Narrower roadways cause cars to go slower, are more pedestrian friendly and give more flexibility with sidewalks to make them more inviting for business.”
The $32 million project includes reconstructing driveways; putting in landscaping; rebuilding pedestrian ramps and sidewalks; adding lighting, signs and pavement markings; road reconstruction; and constructing concrete islands at several streets to manage the flow of traffic.
It is also largely a drainage project designed to alleviate flooding, said Heather M. Leslie, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation. Pump stations at Fifth, 10th and 14th streets and a new system will be part of the infrastructure to improve storm water drainage in the area.
State Sen. Gwen Margolis of Miami Beach and Rep. David Richardson worked with the Department of Transportation to help redesign the project after listening to comments from residents and city commissioners.
Work started April 1 and is slated to last until summer 2015.
Some area business owners have said the extended roadwork is crippling sales, but Commission Libbin called it a “necessary evil.”
“When it’s over,” he said, “the end result will be an improvement, much more in keeping with what the residents and commissions desire for Alton Road.” To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.