Miami Hits Federal Funding Jackpot For Underdeck

the underdeck rendering 1030x385

After the city commission passed a resolution in January urging local, state and federal entities to make funding available to support the Underdeck, Miami has been awarded a $60 million transportation grant for the project.

The March 14 commission meeting started with Chairwoman Christine King and Mayor Francis Suarez announcing the massive influx of federal funding for the 33-acre green space to be built under the I-395 signature bridge that is currently under construction.

The $60 million US Department of Transportation grant, which is the largest received in the city’s history according to the mayor, marks a critical leap forward for the I-395 Underdeck and signature bridge. The total cost for the project is estimated at $83 million.

The Underdeck is the current working name for the 33-acre public open space under the reconstructed I-395 bridge that is to serve as a multi-purpose green space connecting Overtown in the west to Biscayne Bay in the east. The signature bridge project is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the City of Miami.

The federal grant award comes after the city commission unanimously passed a resolution Jan. 11 urging Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida legislature as well as federal and local government officials, entities and instrumentalities to make funding available to support the I-395 Underdeck project. The resolution also made the finding of available federal, state and local funding a legislative priority for the city.

During a virtual information meeting on Feb. 13, David Hoot, the city’s consultant working on the Underdeck, provided updates on its progress. He stated that the consultants who work for FDOT are in final negotiations for the design efforts, which are expected to begin soon.

Oscar Gonzalez, an FDOT representative who attended the virtual meeting, confirmed the bridge is on track for completion in late 2027.

The virtual meeting was hosted by the Underdeck Committee, a group formed in 2018 consisting of civic, business and philanthropic leaders as well as adjacent landowners, small business owners, nonprofits and residents who united to advocate for the future of the Underdeck.

Over the past four years, they have worked closely with Miami’s administration to advocate for state-level funding for the project and contributed to the development of the concept design submitted by the city to FDOT through their community engagement process.

Source:  Miami Today