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$802M FL Infrastructure Project Underway

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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The Florida Department of Transportation has released new information on a $802 million infrastructure plan, “Connecting Miami,” which includes a new six-arch bridge and rehabilitation to three major highways.

The project is being executed by FDOT in a public-private partnership with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), and is being constructed by the Archer Western-de Moya Group Joint Venture.

About the Project

In April 2016, six teams submitted bids for the I-395/SR 836/I-95 design-build project, resulting in a shortlist of teams. Upon review of technical and financial proposals, in May 2017, FDOT and MDX decided that AW-dMG joint venture would be the ones to concurrently construct the projects in order to minimize impact on the public.

A Notice to Proceed was officially issued in July 2018. However, according to FDOT, the project didn’t begin until October 2018. By December, the first traffic alerts were posted on the Connecting Miami website, informing the public when test pile driving operations would begin to take place.

CBS Miami reported that construction officially broke ground by January 2019.

Overall, the project is broken up into three sections, which are slated to be constructed at the same time:

  • I-395: Complete reconstruction of I-395 including a new signature bridge that will span over NE 2 Avenue and SR5/Biscayne Boulevard;
  • I-95: Replacement of concrete pavement on both northbound and southbound travel lanes; and
  • SR 836: Enhancements include double-decking SR 836 to provide drivers with a direct connection to the MacArthur Causeway that is free of local entry and exit traffic.

Throughout the construction process, the design-build project is set to transform the community, enhance safety for commuters, increase mobility for residents and maintain a sustainability mindset.

The signature bridge portion of the project, being called “The Fountain” or the “Miami Fountain of Light” by others, is expected to be the first of its kind in the world. Equipped with full LED lighting, the 1,025-foot suspension bridge will have six sweeping 330-foot arches.

According to Miami Today, in March, a potential fourth piece of the project cleared Miami Commission Chambers, collaborating 33 acres under the signature bridge into a vibrant community space. The lighted space will also connect a 55-acre contiguous trail, reconnecting various parts of the city.

Construction of the park will be completed “during the final stages of the [I-395] project,” said DOT spokesperson Oscar Gonzalez. “All the overhead … bridge work needs to be [done] prior to the community space being opened.”

An initial concept design for the park is expected to be developed by the fall.

What’s Happening Now

A new informational video has been released by Connecting Miami, highlighting the major changes coming to three of the city’s major highways. However, Gonzalez reports that lane closures for all projects are being conducted during non-peak hours.

Beginning on some of the I-395 bridges, foundation work is expected to start on the 1.4-mile roadway project as early as this month or the start of July. To compensate major traffic impacts and shifts, various accommodations and detours have been planned.

“Much of the work on the signature bridge can be done without major impacts to traffic on I-395 as there is available right-of-way outside the travel lanes,” Gonzalez continued, adding that a closure of Northeast 12th Street between Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Second Avenue will be necessary “sometime in December” so FDOT can begin work on the bridge’s central foundation.

Improvements on SR 836 will begin west of Northwest 17th Avenue, ending at the I-95 interchange. Also on I-95, concrete pavement from Northwest 8th and 29th streets on both the north and southbound lanes are slated to be replaced. Midtown’s interchange is also expected to see enhancements allowing for improved traffic flow.

As reported by The Next Miami, the joint venture design-build contractors AW-dMG has four years to complete the project from Oct. 29, 2018. However, because of the exclusion of various holidays, weather, special events and unforeseen circumstances, completion is slated for fall 2023.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Bridges; Construction; Department of Transportation (DOT); Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Roads/Highways

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