Doral’s population has reached the 50,000 mark, and city leaders plan to take advantage of hitting that benchmark.
According to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, 50,213 people now live in the 10-year-old city, which has steadily grown since its incorporation.
Mayor Luigi Boria told the Miami Herald that reaching that population mark now allows the city to pursue a seat on the governing board of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is basically a county transportation board. This would give Doral more say in future large-scale transportation projects.
Boria added that more grant money is available for cities with 50,000 residents or more.
“We can have access to federal and state grants,” he said. “This is great for our city.”
Interim City Manager Jose Olivo said that more grants would bolster neighborhood improvement projects and park improvements. One of the priorities of an MPO representative would be to push for funding for an extension of the 25th Street viaduct project all the way to Florida’s Turnpike. The current phase of the project, scheduled to be completed within two years, will extend the existing bridge and touch down east of 82nd Avenue.
Extending it to Florida’s Turnpike would allow trucks coming in on the west side of the city to cross east to the airport without clogging up traffic on city streets.
“It would be a sort of relief valve for the truck traffic in the city,” he said.
Doral is one of four cities in the south to crack the 50,000 mark. Census data shows that about 2,000 people have moved to the city since 2012.
That’s a 4.2 percent increase, making Doral the second-fastest growing city in Florida population-wise.