The Miami Beach Commissioners Meeting on July 23, 2014 included a discussion of the West Bridge construction project. After the head of the Transportation Department introduced details on the upcoming endeavor, a couple of very articulate Venetian Way neighbors provided public comment to the Commissioners, unwavering in their demand that the East Bridge remain locked down throughout the project.
During the six to nine months (or more) of the West Bridge construction, the Venetian Way residents will have only a single East Bridge access on and off of the Islands. Residents would like the East Bridge to be locked down to boaters (therefore not ever raising the bridge), and all boaters routed through the West Bridge, which will be open 24 hours a day throughout this process.
In this context, the “locked-down” argument is gaining traction from the mere fact that our East Bridge recently FAILED 3 times – and once for several hours. Imagine if this would happen while we are totally dependent on that bridge to enter or exit our neighborhoods.
The conclusion of this matter was that Mayor Phillip Levine and City Manager Jimmy Morales are now going to propose lock-down of the East Bridge to Miami/Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez at an upcoming lunch.
While it was clear that all of the commissioners are informed and on board on the preference for a complete lock-down of our East Bridge, there remains an aura of “it’s not really in our power, but in the hands of Miami-Dade County and the Coast Guard.” A couple of commissioners even suggested that Venetian Way residents should lobby our respective County Commissioners themselves.
The truth is that OUR city officials have the power, contacts, and a very persuasive argument for bridge lock-down, and should aggressively take the lead in the discussions with the county officials.
We recommend that all interested residents continue to convey to our persuasive Mayor, Commissioners, and City Manager to take absolute leadership on this at the County level and with the Coast Guard, and that our officials only support the position that there is NO OPTION and no room for discussion other than a complete East Bridge lock-down during the construction of the West Bridge.
VIHA will continue to lobby the lock-down only position.
Venetian Way Bridges Weight Limit Update!
At this same meeting it was mentioned that the East Bridge weight limit was about to be raised from 11 tons to 16 tons by the county. We will keep you posted on this too.
VIHA was officially represented at this meeting by Ahmad Khamsi, Board Member.