By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager
(Monday, December 3, 2018) – The Utility Undergrounding Project has entered the next phase, the Collins Avenue Street Lighting Enhancement Phase. As you may recall, the City has been working for over three years to lay underground conduit the entire length of Collins Avenue. This caused some disruption and we are grateful for your patience during that time. Once our work of placing conduit under Collins Avenue was complete, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) performed their Roadway Rehabilitation and Repaving (RRR) project. This consisted of milling and repaving, upgrading signalized intersections, and improving crosswalks, Now that this State work is complete, the City can resume the Utility Undergrounding Project.
During the design phase, the current lighting levels were evaluated and a new lighting plan was developed. This plan includes the establishment of a symmetrical lighting layout throughout the entire Collins Avenue corridor, including new decorative lighting fixtures that will both illuminate more of the roadway and sidewalk as well as add to the aesthetic beauty of our main thoroughfare.
The first week of November, the Street Lighting Enhancement Phase was initiated on the west side of Collins Avenue in front of the Millennium Plaza and is moving to the south, block by block, replacing the existing streetlights. This area of the west side spans from the south side of the William Lehman Causeway to the Residence Inn Miami Sunny Isles Beach at 17700 Collins Avenue. Once this is complete, installation of the new streetlights will continue on the east side of Collins Avenue and move north from this same location (approximately 17700 Collins Avenue), block by block. This process will continue throughout the City in different phases.
What should residents expect during this phase? Lane and sidewalk closures are necessary to safely perform this work. To minimize the impact to our residents, this work will take place between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday (minimal nighttime work may be required at times). Residents should also expect periods of streetlight outages in the areas of work. A new street light fixture may be erected, but not illuminated immediately.
The good news is that the FPL conversion of phase 1 has commenced on the south end of the City effective the beginning of December. This first phase includes running the underground wiring through the previously placed conduits under Collins Avenue.
Traveled by thousands every day and night, Collins Avenue (A1A) is one of the busiest routes in the United States. We are constantly working hard to ensure the safety and security of our residents and commuters. Better street lighting yields increased benefits for all living in or traveling through Sunny Isles Beach. I wish all of you a very happy and joyous holiday season, as we look forward to brighter and hopefully more festive decorative streetlights along Collins Avenue next year.