Miami — Proposal Cut in Half
Due to cost and community pushback, the $360 million South Beach modern streetcar project at Miami Beach, the popular seaside tourism resort in southeast Florida, has been scaled back, the Miami Herald reported on October 28. 2016.
Miami Beach’s administration missed a 60-day deadline to negotiate an “interim agreement” for the streetcar—a pre-contract stage that was to define a process and timeline for final contract negotiations. More than 100 days have passed since the City Commission chose a bidder in July, but the city manager now doesn’t anticipate an agreement until November or December.
City Manager Jimmy Morales told commissioners last week that he suggested shrinking the project’s route due to issues with funding, costs, and logistics. Miami Beach officials have scaled back the capital cost to about $244 million by halving the full loop around the heart of South Beach to a route that along Fifth Street and up Washington Avenue to Miami Beach Senior High School.
The eliminated half of the loop, which faces an uncertain future, would have run along Dade Boulevard and Alton Road, then south to Fifth Street.
Business owners have objected to the project due to construction disruption. Funding to cover the estimated $7 million annual cost of the shortened route has yet to be found.