Letters to the Editor

Fix Brickell bridge for traffic, boaters

Finding real solutions to the ongoing Brickell Avenue Bridge area traffic congestion is important to all who are impacted, including the Miami River marine industry.

Our initial review of the FDOT report on bridge operations and area traffic, prompted by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), suggests important omissions, unknown assumptions, and misleading results/findings.

Among several troubling elements, the FDOT did not include real bridge operation scenario modeling, nor did it address the cause of traffic wait-time long after the Brickell Avenue Bridge had closed. Also, the narrowly-focused report does not include vessel movement on the Miami River. Shouldn’t it?

Within the past 10 years, the Brickell and downtown area have added thousands of residential units and massive shopping/office/entertainment complexes, adding only minimal transportation solutions.

The bridge operation schedule only allows for openings once every half hour all day long. It closes for 90 minutes during the morning rush, an hour at noon, and 90 minutes during the evening rush.

Could any business survive and prosper under the proposed increase in restrictions pushed by the DDA? Extending bridge closure restrictions will not only not afford the relief the area needs, but could also create navigational safety hazards and ultimately cripple the river’s marine industry.

We anticipate the U.S. Coast Guard report on vessel movement on the Miami River and trust that the USCG will review it together with the FDOT report. We are hopeful that clear minds — without the heavy-hand of the DDA — will help determine fully-informed Brickell Avenue Bridge operations. We also hope that public officials will look for creative and real solutions to traffic management and not harm the Miami River marine industry.

Bruce L. Brown, president,

The Miami River

Marine Group