The readers’ forum

How will ‘signature bridge’ affect Overtown?


What is it exactly that has the governor, our county commissioners and other local leaders so enamored with the prospect of the I-395 “signature” bridge? The Herald reported in November that Gov. Scott pledged $600 million in state funds for the project.

Much has been said before and since about constructing a showpiece bridge to replace the crumbling overpass between downtown and the Performing Arts/Omni district.

However, what I have not heard yet is what effect this bridge will have on reconnecting or revitalizing Overtown, the neighborhood sacrificed in the name of progress when the original highway was constructed.

The Florida Department of Transportation says the bridge will provide higher clearances than the current overpass, allowing light to filter down to the street and enhancing the possibility that cultural attractions on both sides of that divide will foster economic growth.

Given the current traffic demands of Perez Art Museum Miami, the future science museum, the arena, the Arsht Center and of whatever fills the former Miami Herald site, a better road is not without merit, one that will be additionally burdened with the port tunnel traffic come May.

But what about the western end of I-395? What benefits will this bridge bring to residents, businesses and property values there?

The FDOT plan only seeks to improve traffic operations on a poorly designed and overburdened corridor.

Frankly, its track record in South Florida on projects of this magnitude is mixed, at best.

The state, the city and local leaders have too hastily dismissed better alternatives.

We should demand more than cosmetic attempts to restitch the fabric of a once-vibrant community blighted by a roadway.

Surely we can demand better, or at least demand to hear the answers to these questions before $600 million of our tax dollars are spent.

Worldwide, cities are tearing down elevated urban highways, burying them or capping them, efficiently moving traffic in and out of downtown centers while creating opportunities for urban regeneration.

Why is it that Miami wants to celebrate its highway with a “signature bridge?”

Daniel Manichello, Miami Beach

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Renewable energy is better than FPL’s nuclear power lines

    In his July 15 letters Bury FPL’s high-voltage transmission lines, former South Miami mayor Horace Feliu insists that the city of South Miami should pay the $18 million that FPL demands in order to underground the high-voltage transmission lines it proposes on U.S. 1 to support a pair of nuclear plants.

  • No double standard

    What is all this talk admonishing Israel about not killing civilians and being disproportionate in its response to Hamas?

  • Police transparency

    It is about time that the police begin taping interrogations — and that should be only the first step. There is no reason for jurors or anyone else to trust the police. Every time a cop gets busted, the blue wall descends and nothing happens. If police want to be respected again, then the state attorney’s office must prosecute cops who break the law and send them to prison; police departments must fire cops who abuse privileges; and police officers must show respect for the law and citizens. The best way to do that is to wear body cams and use dashboard and station cams.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category