west avenue bridge

West Ave , Venetian Islands , Sunset Harbour

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

west avenue bridge:

soon to connect three neighborhoods

The City presented its plans and timeline for the West Avenue Bridge across Dade Boulevard and asked the community for thoughts on the finishing touches. The project actually consists of two bridges: one vehicular bridge with sidewalks and another pedestrian-only bridge over the Collins Canal, connecting the West Avenue neighborhood with Sunset Harbour and Belle Isle. Dade Boulevard between Alton Road and the Venetian Causeway is also being rebuilt and raised as part of the construction. With the elevated roadway and higher seawall, City Engineer Bruce Mowry says the area will be much more resilient going forward.  (You can see the stark difference in the one side of the road that has already been raised almost three feet.)
The vehicular bridge will be located on West Avenue over the Collins Canal from 17th Street to 18th. It will have one southbound and one northbound travel lane as well as a dedicated southbound left turn lane and new sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. The pedestrian bridge will connect Lincoln Court on the south side of Dade Boulevard with Purdy Avenue to the north.
The vehicular bridge will be pre-fabricated allowing for quick installation according to Mowry. At this point, residents have the opportunity to influence the aesthetics and residents were presented with several options. An overwhelming number supported making the bridge look as much like the nearby Venetian Causeway as possible. After considerable discussion with regard to the pedestrian bridge, the community sought a simple, open design of railings.
There continues to be frustration over the traffic and traffic patterns in the area and residents were not happy with the addition of a light at Bay Road and Dade Boulevard. City Transportation Manager Josiel Ferrer says the City is working on a simulation model now that they hope to have ready to discuss with the community “within the next month or so.” He added, “We are looking at outside the box scenarios” for solving the traffic issue. Scott Diffenderfer, President of the Belle Isle Residents Association says “We need to look at this holistically rather than piece by piece” and echoed the need for outside the box thinking.
The road is expected to be completed by end of May with both the West Avenue vehicular bridge and the pedestrian bridge anticipated opening in August of 2017. The project cost is $10 million.
For more information, contact Melissa Rodriguez via email or at 305-570-8076.

west avenue bridge opens

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
connects west ave, sunset harbour, belle isle