By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The City of Miami Beach held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the 5300 block of Collins Avenue to celebrate the completion of the Phase II Middle Beach Recreational Corridor project on Thursday, June 13th at 5PM, opening the most recent leg of a continuous pedestrian, bike path running from South Pointe Park through 79th Street.
Construction took place from March 2019 to June 2019, and created a continuous on-grade, ADA accessible multi-modal paved pathway that supports the use of bicycles, pedestrians and other non-motorized means of transportation. This section’s project limits were 46th Street to 53rd Street, along the beach.
Before the event, Jimmy Morales, City Manager of Miami Beach shared “We are very happy it is one of the most popular things we have done, so we are very happy today.”
Lauren Firtel in the city’s Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) department shared some of the positive feedback the city received for the project. “This is quote from an email received from an area resident: ‘THANKS EVERYONE for GETTING THIS DONE!!! Such a great addition to the City of Miami Beach for its residents and visitors!'”
She added, “In addition, the Mid Beach Neighborhood Association worked closely with the City’s team on this project. They are thrilled to have the new section open for summer play time.”
Firtel also explained that the CIP office worked closely with the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the City’s Department of Environment and Sustainability to ensure best practices for the coastal dunes, people, plants, turtles, birds, cats and everything else in the natural surroundings of the Beachwalk path.
“When questions from stakeholders came about, the City coordinated with the state as needed to provide information and solutions to area stakeholders,” explained Firtel. “Over 27,000 native dune plants were installed in this section to enhance the dune, which acts as a natural barrier to protect all of us in the event of a storm.”
The final phase of the project, 79th to 87th street in North Beach, is anticipated to start at the end of this year and expected to complete in 2021.