By Christopher J. Russo, City Manager
(Friday, June 29, 2018) – We’ve come a long way since December when I last updated you on citywide capital projects. At this time I’m happy to report that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is in the process of completing the paving of Collins Avenue through our City. They have milled the old pavement and removed it, raised or repaired all manholes and utility covers on Collins Avenue, in addition, they are repairing curbing and sidewalks where upgraded signal and pedestrian walk lights have been placed.
As soon as the new pavement is completed, FDOT will begin installing decorative crosswalks throughout the City. The new surface crossing in front of the Government Center will be maintained until such time as the planned pedestrian overpass bridge, from Government Center to the south side of the Trump International Hotel, is completed. The overpass will provide for the ultimate safety for all who cross Collins Avenue at this point, especially our children from the east side of Collins, walking to school, the community center, the parks, or the library. This bridge is in the process of being designed and we expect to go out to bid early next year and award a contract for construction. This will be the first of at least three pedestrian bridges over Collins Avenue.
The second bridge would be located on the southwest corner of the intersection of 174 Street and Collins Avenue. The third bridge is planned for the north side of the intersection of Sunny Isles Boulevard and Collins Avenue. We expect this bridge to be constructed along with the future development on the west side of Collins Avenue across from the Newport Hotel. These bridges, along with the recently completed pedestrian/emergency bridge over the canal connecting 172 Street to 174 Street are the cornerstone to pedestrian safety, as recommended in the Transportation Master Plan and the City’s overall Comprehensive Plan. As these bridges are built and put in service, we increase the area of our City that can be walked, jogged, or biked off Collins!
At the June 21 commission meeting, a contract was approved for stormwater drainage improvements on North Bay Road from 174 Street north to 183 Street. This project is part of our continuing program of evaluating and upgrading the stormwater drainage system. We will be cleaning out all deep stormwater collection wells and catch basins, and inspecting all drainage pipes and outflows from our City. If pipe repairs or replacement are necessary, they will be immediately addressed. The project is expected to take approximately three to six months, depending on the results of all the inspections. Work will commence over the summer, depending on any unforeseen issues.
Our beach gained approximately 150,000 cubic yards of sand this past spring from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach renourishment project and the Armani Development project. An additional 32,000 cubic yards of sand is expected to be placed on the beach by the end of the year. The Ritz Carlton and Turnberry Developments will provide the sand. More than 63,000 cubic yards of sand is still expected from the Estates at Acqualina and the Varadero project. Besides placing sand on the beach, we are studying all available mitigation strategies to preserve as much sand as possible from erosion.
These are just a few of the many projects taking place within our City, but very important ones that have a direct impact on our residents.