Pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and motorists be warned: the easternmost bridge of Venetian Causeway will be closed for construction from May 1 – May 30. While it is understood that maintenance is essential to keeping the bridge safe, the loss of this major east-west link presents several challenges for all of its users, especially  pedestrians, bicyclists, and moped operators who depend daily upon the Venetian for a safe link between the City of Miami and Miami Beach.

According to a Miami-Dade County construction fact sheet I obtained from a toll booth operator, all traffic will be diverted to the MacArthur Causeway for the duration of the bridge closure. While the detour is  inconvenient for all of the above, the detour is potentially life threatening for the aforementioned groups, those who do not depend on enclosed motor vehicles for their daily transportation.  Since the fact sheet mentions obstruction to motor vehicles only, and nothing for all other users, it is extremely unlikely that the County will take any additional steps in ensuring any viable options for pedestrians or bicyclists to travel in a manner to which they are accustomed.

Certain MetroBus lines will likely enjoy some overcrowding as a result, but will likely be the safest alternative for those traveling between  Miami and Miami Beach. However, the monthly cost and inconvenience of traveling by such a mode will further impede many Venetian Causeway users.

Thus, please join Transit Miami in asking the County to protect both shoulders of the MacArthur Causeway with some type of temporary barrier so that bicyclists and pedestrians may proceed without immediately fearing for their lives. While such a provision will surely not appeal to every user, it will do much to alleviate the temporary convenience.  and allow people to travel more safely.

To make this simple request, please contact Delfin Molins, Public Information Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Works, with this simple request. Delfin may be reached at 305-375-1682, or delfin@miamidade.gov. As always, phone calls tend to be more direct and effective.

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23 Responses to Action Alert: Venetian Causeway Bridge To Close In May

  1. Kevin says:

    Sent! :)

       0 likes

  2. Mike Lydon says:

    Thanks! Keep spreading the word!

       0 likes

  3. Felipe A says:

    This should be interesting. PWD will have to work with FDOT.

       0 likes

  4. Mike Lydon says:

    John Hopkins from Green Mobility is under the impression that the MacArthur will be undergoing construction at the same time…

       0 likes

  5. Anonymous says:

    emails work better than phone calls. they are trackable. usually it works best to do both.

       0 likes

  6. Kathryn says:

    FROM FDOT WEBSITE::: I-395 (State Road 836) Bridge Rehabilitation Project (FIN No.: 422694-1-52-01) in Miami-Dade County from Biscayne Boulevard to west I-95 (State Road 9A): This project includes strengthening and enhancing four structures by rehabilitating columns and piers underneath the bridges and refurbishing concrete barrier walls and bridge joints on the roadway. Work began September 2008 and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2009. The estimated cost is $2.2 million. For more information, contact Public Information Specialist Monica Diaz at 305-499-2410 or via e-mail at monica.diaz@dot.state.fl.us. Motorists are encouraged to call 511 before they drive or log on to http://www.511southflorida.com to get real-time traffic and lane closure information.

       0 likes

  7. richard says:

    Called and left a message.

       0 likes

  8. Rob Jordan says:

    How about handing out flyers or tacking them up for bicyclists going across the causeway to see?

       0 likes

  9. Rob Jordan says:

    The McArthur Causeway is a State Road (SR A1A) that falls under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). People should call or write to Brian Rick, Media Specialist and Outreach Administrator FDOT District-6: (305) 470-5197
    Brian.Rick@dot.state.fl.us

       0 likes

  10. Mike says:

    I called and spoke with Delfin. He says they have no jurisdiction over the MacArthur. He recommends all requests be directed to Brian Rick, Public Information Officer of the Dept. of Transportation. His number is 305-375-5100, e-mail brian.rick@dot.state.fl.us

       0 likes

  11. Mike says:

    Correction: that phone number Delfin gave to me is incorrect. That number connected me to the Sheriff’s office.

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  12. Mike Lydon says:

    …It’s always someone else’s problem. I also wrote monica.diaz@dot.state.fl.us, but will plan to write Brian as well. Thanks for the tip Mike. I hope others will stay diligent as we get the run-around.

       0 likes

  13. Mike says:

    Call the FL Dept. of Transportation at 305-470-5349 and make your request.

       0 likes

  14. Mike says:

    Please revise your original blog post with the FDOT’s Public Information Office phone number.

    No reason to alienate the folks at the County when it simply is not in their jursidiction.

       0 likes

  15. Mike Lydon says:

    Will revise this evening…

       0 likes

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m not comfortable with Delfin or Monica or anyone else claiming that the McArthur is someone else’s issue. The fact is, the city will close down an entire roadway for a month without making alternate arrangesments for a significant number of users.

    Does anyone know who runs the M-D County Public Works and/or who ran this project? That’s who should be contacted and who should be making the arrangements with the state to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.

       0 likes

  17. Anonymous says:

    Found it: Miami-Dade County Public Works Director

    http://www.miamidade.gov/pubworks/contact.asp
    http://www.miamidade.gov/biographies/Pubworks.asp
    Ecalas@miamidade.gov

    She should know about this issue and also that her office should take cyclists into account on any future projects:

       0 likes

  18. Felipe A says:

    Esther Calas is the director of the PWD. Her contact info is below.
    Her department is notorious for “passing-the-buck” and “reacting” to problems, rather then being proactive about avoiding problems.

    Esther Calas, P.E., Director
    Public Works Department
    111 NW First Street, Suite 1610
    Miami , Florida 33128
    Phone: (305) 375-2960
    Fax: (305) 375-3070
    ecalas@miamidade.gov
    “Delivering Excellence Every Day”

       0 likes

  19. Mike Lydon says:

    Felipe, the larger issue here is that Miami-Dade PW can’t help us on the MacArthur. It has to come from FDOT…

       0 likes

  20. Felipe A says:

    It is FDOTs responsibility to accommodate the cyclists and pedestrians, but it is PWDs responsibility to make them aware of the fact that they need to be accommodated. Apparently PWD has yet to do that. There is no communication or coordination between these two departments, and there lies is a huge problem. I hold the PWD and FDOT accountable. Both need to catch heat for this, and both departments should hear from us…

       0 likes

  21. Mike Lydon says:

    Agreed, that Miami-Dade PWD should initiate the issue. But we know they don’t. So now that we have bombarded PWD, it is time to take it responsibility ourselves and fill FDOTs email inboxes and answering machines with requests.

       0 likes

  22. John the Artist says:

    After some phone bouncing, I contacted the office of Michael Bauman, 305 854 2468. Call was returned in five minutes. I suggested to at least keep shoulders clean on both larger causeways. I was told they are working on giving all yearly pass holders a credit for perhaps a month next year. Not cast in stone.
    All alternative travelers (scooter, bike, walkers, etc) … please be safe and take extra precautions if indeed using the larger causeways! And if u (scooter/moped users) can’t travel the given MPH (55+ MPH) on them, stay on the shoulder! Good luck! John

       0 likes

  23. JM Palacios says:

    Is there a minimum speed on the MacArthur? Scooters going 30+mph on the shoulder will make it more dangerous for cyclists going 15mph. Legally I don’t think scooters are allowed to drive on the shoulder on a normal basis.

       0 likes

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