Is a New Signature Bridge the Right Solution for Downtown Miami?
Nov 21, 2013 November 21, 2013
Plans for a new I-395 are currently underway in Miami. When complete, the bridge will connect residents to downtown, the Performing Arts Center, and the Port of Miami.
The current 395 overpass looms over northwest Miami and currently connects the I95, 836, and McArthur Causeway; however, state and city leaders have expressed concerns that it is ineffective. Rather than connecting residents to important parts of the city, the overpass instead serves as a divide between downtown areas.
Discussions for the need to redesign the overpass have gone on for more than a decade. Recently; however, the governor and the mayor have indicated that the Florida Department of Transportation is onboard for the construction of a bridge that will not only be more effective but also more visually appealing.
An advisory committee is already being created and will be tasked with the responsibility of drawing up plans for the new bridge. It is a project that will not come cheap. FDOT is expected to ask the state legislature for up to $600 million to help fund the project. While it will be expensive, state and city officials believe that when completed, the bridge will help to enhance both the Port Tunnel and the Port of Miami while also making it easier for travelers to make their way from the heart of the downtown area to the Performing Arts Center. The Port serves as a crucial clog in the economic success of the entire state. By improving access to the port, the city of Miami will be further positioned to be transformed into an emerging global business hub.
Once plans are underway, construction of the revamped bridge could create as many as 30,000 new jobs. Construction on the project may begin by 2018. Among the goals for the new bridge is a structure that will be high enough to allow sunshine under the bridge while at the same ensuring the pedestrians will not feel restricted from walking under it to access the slate of new restaurants and museums that are being built in the area, as is the case with the current infrastructure.