Two big infrastructure projects are back in the picture as the FDOT has resurrected the Port Tunnel deal while quietly trying to build support for the reconstruction of I-395 as a super elevated highway. The tunnel project, touted as the remedy for removing truck traffic from downtown streets, was all but dead until FDOT Director Stephanie Kopelousos approved new cash backers. Friends of Transit Miami have also alerted us that FDOT District 6 is quietly reaching out to Overtown residents to build support for their prefered alternative of a $580 million super elevated highway, saying it will reconnect the neighborhood that was devastated by the construction of the existing I-395 nearly 60 years ago.
Too bad FDOT. A billion here, half a billion there. Seems like they love to play with monopoly money, all the while playing down the benefits of the most logical answer: to depress the highway opening up acres of expensive downtown land. The $800 million price tag for removing the highway will be offset by the newly vacant (and taxable) downtown blocks, while nixing the tunnel in favor of using existing rail will save the state (and us taxpayers) over a billion dollars. Check out this great article detailing the I-395 options. I’ll post more on this in the coming days. No public meetings have been set yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we know.
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