Meeting to discuss FPL, Busway issues

By Richard Yager….
Two major issues effecting East Kendall and other southwest Miami- Dade communities off S. Dixie Highway (US1) will be aired at a Continental Park Homeowners Association meeting scheduled on Nov. 16.

On the agenda: • A presentation by Florida Power & Light on installation of 110-foot power transmission lines from its Turkey Point nuclear plant northward on US1 to serve future power needs.

• A report by Miami-Dade Expressway Authority on future development and use of the 20-mile Miami-South Dade Busway, paralleling US1 between Dadeland South Metrorail Station and Florida City.

“We wanted to review both of these matters before actions are taken that do not reflect the views of established neighborhood residents in these areas,” declared Holly White, president of Continental Park’s HOA who also serves as president of the East Kendall Homeowner Organization (EKHO), representing area homeowner and condominium organizations.

“The FPL lines, which would be located off US1 into the Continental Park area on SW 77th Avenue, is a serious concern for transforming residential streets of our community,” she stated.

White pointed out, according to a “Preferred East Corridor” route designation, FPL wants to widen a 260-foot path in the Pinecrest-Palmetto Bay area to 2,300 feet as the corridor reaches the Palmetto Expressway-Dadeland area. She noted that is “over a mile width into our area.”

White said Pinecrest Council’s Bob Ross has learned that a deadline for recommending alternatives to erection of FPL’s transmission lines has been extended from Oct. 28 to Jan. 14, 2011, a date White said is key to lodging any formal action by Continental Park HOA.

“The City of South Miami has also hired an economic consultant to address the cost of local businesses of putting lines along US1,” she added, noting correspondence with Ross indicated Pinecrest will hire a consultant to prepare an alternate corridor while retaining an attorney to be certified for testimony before a Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the overall project.


White said both the Continental Park and East Kendall HOAs also “wanted an up-to-date report future planning for the Busway before the first of the year” from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, a session earlier scheduled for January or February 2011.

“Busway reps have been asked to speak at the same meeting so that they can educate the residents about the study that they are proposing regarding the South Dade Busway,” White said. “I don’t know how much they are going to be able to tell us but at least we will have a chance to field questions.”

Tere Rodriguez, spokesperson for MDX, said, “We were planning this session in January or February, since we have just begun analyzing both the Miami-Dade Planning Organization (MPO) preliminary report on the potential of Busway uses.”

Rodriguez indicated that the MDX was planning to consider grade separations at key intersections of east-west throughway streets as part of an overall study planned in 2011.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has approved incorporating the US1 Express Planning Development and Environmental Study (PD&E) into the 2035 MPO Long Range Plan. In mid 2010, MDX commenced its own PD&E to include the detailed evaluation of engineering and environmental impacts, alternatives analysis, identification of benefits and potential mitigation of impacts, and a comprehensive public involvement program throughout the process.

The project, in coordination with Miami-Dade Transit, will evaluate the use of Managed Lanes along the South Miami- Dade Busway, to improve mobility, enhance mass transit and relieve congestion along the corridor, according to a MPO website statement.

Preliminary results from the September 2008 Miami-Dade MPO South Miami- Dade Managed Lanes Study indicate that transit overall performance, including travel times for regular and express bus service could be improved if a US1 Express project is implemented.

“Currently, US1 experiences significant levels of congestion and has an annual average daily traffic of approximately 70,000 to 110,000 vehicles along the northern segment of the corridor,” the MPO report stated.

The Continental Park HOA meeting will be from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the historic Dice House, 10000 SW 82 Ave. The meeting is open to the public. Continental Park HOA will elect officers for 2011 at the same session.

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