A public-private partnership led by Florida International University (FIU) has won an $11. 4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand services, including a pedestrian bridge over Southwest Eighth Street at the corner of 109th Avenue.
The grant also will help FIU and partners improve links between the universitys west Miami-Dade campus, the neighboring city of Sweetwater and other parts of Miami-Dade County, according to a recent FIU statement.
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program (TIGER) grant will allow FIU and its partners to move forward with the project called UniversityCity. FIUs partners include Miami-Dade Transit, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Sweetwater, IBM and engineering firm T.Y. Lin International.
UniversityCity was conceived as a $124 million project linking the Modesto A. Maidique Campus to bus rapid transit (BRT), Miami International Airport and other key points in South Florida. The TIGER grant will allow for work to begin immediately on elements of the project.
These elements include:
• The pedestrian bridge spanning Southwest Eighth Street at the intersection with 109th Avenue.
• Streetscape enhancements linking the Modesto A. Maidique Campus with neighboring Sweetwater at 109th Avenue, where a privately-funded student-focused housing apartment building is already under construction. A second residential option for FIU students is in development.
• Access improvements to the entrances of the Modesto A. Maidique Campus and to the 109th Avenue area in Sweetwater, across from campus.
• Smart Parking Software System in partnership with IBM that would alert smart phone users as to available spaces in a new FIU garage. The same application would contain real-time information about transportation, including the new advanced bus system with which Miami-Dade Transit is planning to connect west Miami-Dade County with the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) at the airport.
UniversityCity will be one of the most tangible, meaningful solutions we help provide for South Floridians because it involves improved transportation, jobs and economic development, said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.