Mayors of Miami, Miami-Dade clash over $800M bridge contract
- Mayors for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County are fighting over the design of an $800 million "signature" bridge for downtown Miami, according to the Miami Herald.
- The Florida Department of Transportation is set to officially approve a contractor for the project Friday, but Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the state has not given enough weight in its scoring process to opinions from a local "aesthetics" advisory committee. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado rejected those claims and said Gimenez is trying to politicize the project.
- Regalado was part of a lawsuit that required the state to build the bridge, and, as part of the settlement, the FDOT agreed to consider input from an advisory committee regarding the bridge's design. The Miami committee favored a design that included a local contractor, but that proposal came in second in state deliberations.
The clash will see a resolution Friday, when a panel will choose the winning bridge proposal.
Regalado made waves earlier this year when he came out publicly against a proposed megaproject that he said would change the character of a historic Miami neighborhood and negatively impact the community.
The Miami mayor said he would veto a 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use development that would necessitate the demolition of an existing American Legion Hall and require a special zoning designation to allow an adjacent park to be included in the project's total acreage.
Developers said the park would remain untouched — and that they would build a new American Legion Hall — but that its inclusion is necessary so that they can add more units and build higher than current zoning laws allow.
In another "iconic" yes less controversial bridge project, construction is underway in Texas on a bridge that city officials say will change the Corpus Christie skyline when complete. The $809 million span will replace the existing Harbor Bridge and will be the longest precast concrete cable-stayed bridge in the U.S.
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