Miami-Dade County will spend $535,000 for road repairs and the addition of a sidewalk on Southwest 80th street in South Miami.
County Commissioner Xavier L. Suarez told South Miami commissioners about the project at the March 4 City Commission meeting. South Miami is a part of county commission District 7, which Suarez represents.
A new sidewalk will run along the south side of the road, which itself will be resurfaced, from 57th Avenue to U.S. 1.
Suarez’s chief of staff, Ricardo Gonzalez, said $320,000 will go toward road improvements while $215,000 will install the sidewalk. Gonzalez said money from the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation previously could not be used for sidewalks, but a rule change made it possible for the allocation.
“It used to be you could only do sidewalk improvements if the work was connected to a road improvement,” Gonzalez said. “We were told that there had been an adjustment and now the rules could work for this particular project.”
South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard, who has biked along the stretch, said the sidewalk “is the most needed safety addition for the entire city of South Miami.”
“The first time you ride your bicycle on that street, you discover it’s a death trap,” Stoddard said. “We have been asking to get a sidewalk on 80th Street for years and years, and [City Manager Steven Alexander] and Suarez managed to pull this off. I am delighted and grateful.”
“It’s wonderful from the perspective of the city because this is a major corridor,” Stoddard said. “Being able to traverse the city from east to west of U.S. 1 is very important for people to be able to do.”
Gonzalez said a timeline has not yet been established for the project.