If the bridge were redesigned and moved to the Gables One Tower location, the county would close any pedestrian access at the Mariposa intersection.
“Any overpass would entail the closing of the at-grade U.S. 1 crossing at Mariposa,” Hernandez said in an email Tuesday.
Brigham suggested the county could pursue eminent domain and acquire the property that way, a process by which a municipality can take over private property for a public good, for a just price. But the county is unwilling to pursue this route due to the potential of additional costs.
“The county is giving more dollars, double the amount that was budgeted for the five parking spaces and the shopping center is unwilling to sell so that’s where we stand, unfortunately,” del Valle said at the meeting.
The county had first offered $1 million for the parking spots, then upped its offer to $1.85 million. This is its final offer, Hernandez said.
Committee member Sydney Josepher suggests money might be the issue. “They may get a few more bucks. I shop there quite a bit, Bagel Emporium. Seems to me that corner they want to put that part of the bridge is hardly used. I don’t see any cars there. They ought to bargain with them one way or another and get this done.”
In other business, committee member Gilbert Arias announced that the UM’s Coral Gables campus would become smoke-free by Aug. 1, joining many institutions around the country, including Florida International University and the UM’s medical campus in Miami, in banning smoking from all common areas and outdoors on site.
“We’re following along those lines to promote health and wellness,” Arias said. “We are planning a campaign to educate students and any visitors coming on campus.”
There are no fines associated with violators of the ban, but ambassadors will be on hand to remind everyone of the school’s policy this summer, Arias said.
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