We reported back in October on how the FDOT had come to Miami Springs. They presented a few options. They listened to our concerns. Then they came back with a proposal that was worse than what the community had already rejected. The FDOT came back proposing a fully elevated expressway connection that extends State Road 112 to the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) and would cover the entire length of 36th Street from LeJeune to the Palmetto.
Mayor Mitchell has been opposed to this project from the beginning and gave the City Council an update on the Expressway Project based on conversations she had with FDOT officials. According to Maria Mitchell, the project that would connect SR112 from LeJeune to the Palmetto has been put on hold. The project has gone back to the study phase as the FDOT rethinks options. This doesn’t mean the project may not come back in the future, but for now it’s “going back to the drawing board.”
However, Mayor Mitchell did state that the Iron Triangle project is moving forward to the PD+E (Project Development and Environmental) stage. This is where they look at the engineering, costs, environmental impacts, etc.
What’s the Iron Triangle?
The Iron Triangle is the area where SR112 connects with Okeechobee Road, NW 36th Street, and LeJeune Road.
The Florida Department of Transportation is proposing adding a westbound flyover for SR112 that would bypass S. Royal Poinciana Blvd and LeJeune Road with an off ramp on the center lane of NW 36th Street near Kenmore and Sheridan Drive. This would save locals time and reduce the volume of traffic at the intersection of NW 36th Street and LeJeune. It was unclear if this would reduce the westbound lanes at the intersection from 3 lanes to 2 lanes. This was not a popular option among those in attendance, but I think there are too many unanswered questions. Mayor Maria Mitchell is not in favor of this project and the impact it’ll have on local businesses.
Response from FDOT Re: Expressway Expansion
Below is a letter sent to Miami Springs Representative, Bryan Avila, in response to objections on the expansion of SR112 over NW 36th Street:
January 10, 2022
The Honorable Bryan Avila
Speaker Pro Tempore
Florida State Representative, District 111
418 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Re: NW 36th Street Multimodal Planning Study, FM 436426-1-12-01 and the Iron Triangle project FM 435251-1-12-01
Dear Representative Avila,
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is in receipt of your November 30th letter signed by the Mayors of the City of Miami Springs (City) and the Village of Virginia Gardens (Village) regarding the NW 36th Street Multimodal Planning Study (SR 948/NE 36th Street from SR 826/Palmetto Expressway to SR 5/US 1) and the “Iron Triangle” Urban Mobility Interchange Planning/Project Development and Environmental Studies (SR 953/NW 42nd Avenue with SR 948/NW 35th Street and SR 25/Okeechobee Road).
Given the recent feedback received, the Department will continue to evaluate potential solutions to improve mobility for all transportation modes along the NW 36th Street corridor. FDOT understands the City and Village’s position on the proposed grade separated alternatives and will evaluate at-grade alternatives moving forward. FDOT will continue to coordinate with the City and the Village as the study progresses.
In addition to being of interest to the City of Hialeah, the “Iron Triangle” studies are included in the Miami-Dade County 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan. During the planning study process, there was support for the recommended concepts from the Project Advisory Group (PAG). The PAG was comprised of local government representations, regional stakeholders, and persons that live and work in the project area. In addition, recent discussions between FDOT and the City discussed moving forward into the Project Development and Environment study phase. During this phase a much more detailed evaluation of potential alternatives will occur, along with a more robust public engagement process.
This area of Miami-Dade County has many transportation challenges and the final recommended alternatives from these efforts will balance community quality of life with future transportation system needs. If you wish to further discuss, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Daniel Iglesias, P.E., Director of Transportation Development at (305) 470-5464 or Daniel.Iglesias@dot.state.fl.us.
Stacy L. Miller,
P.E. District Six Secretary
Kevin J. Thibault, P.E., FDOT Secretary
Daniel Iglesias, P.E., FDOT District Six Director of Transportation Development
Maria Puente Mitchell, Mayor, City of Miami Springs
Spencer Deno IV, Mayor, Village of Virginia Gardens
Recap of Past Presentations by FDOT
RE: MIAMI SPRINGS EXPRESSWAY
Mayor Mitchell also shared that she’s working with FDOT to host the next information session within the City of Miami Springs, such as the Rec Center, the Pool Party Room, the Country Club, or the Curtiss Mansion. No dates are yet available as to when the next public meeting will be held.