Originally built in 1957, the bridge was not designed with pedestrian and bicycle access, nor did it meet today’s code with the American Disability Act (ADA). Also of concern was the existing profile of the old bridge. With a huge hump in the street, it blocked visibility from the roadway, creating a crossing pedestrian hazard; one which has now been corrected. In addition, the final inspection performed by the State was conducted on November 30, 2009, and rated the bridge, “FUNCTIONALLY ABSOLETE” according to the National Bridge Inventory. The crash reports available from Miami-Dade County and Miami Gardens Police Department were analyzed. The City knew that in order to address all safety issues, replacement of the bridge was the only solution.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided part funding for the bridge projects with Transportation Funding for the remaining portion. The NW 42 Avenue/NW 179 Street Bridge was replaced for a total amount of $1,108,120, of which $837,300 from ARRA funding and $270,820 from City’s transportation funds. The bridge construction began in April 2010.
In close proximity to Carol City Elementary School, the new bridge has created a safe and accessible crossing for students, parents, and residents. The new bridge includes a 6’ ft wide sidewalk on the west side of bridge and a 10’ ft wide shared-use by pedestrians and bicyclists on east side of bridge. The bridge also has new realigned roadway, drainage, markings, signage, new guardrails/concrete barriers and slope erosion protection. All new bridge components adhere to current Florida Department of Transportation design standards.
Finally, the City would like to thank the community for the support and for being patient during the construction where the pedestrian crossing remained opened throughout the bridge construction.