Coral Gables already is known as the City Beautiful, but the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) also is working to make sure that upgraded water service capacity comes on line as the city completes its Street Scape Improvement project on Miracle Mile.
“WASD is partnering with Coral Gables to coordinate our Capital Improvement Project to coincide with their construction on Miracle Mile,” said Lester Sola, WASD director. “With the investment the city is making, the last thing we would want is there to be an issue with the aging water line that serves the area and have to dig up the newly designed sidewalks and pavers.”
WASD is replacing a 16-inch water pipe that runs under Miracle Mile that was installed in the 1930s — only a few years after the construction of the Biltmore Hotel and Venetian Pool, with a new 16-inch water line. New fire hydrants also will be installed that will improve fire suppression capabilities.
Construction also includes the placement of water line connectors to be placed further out from the intersections to allow future expansion that won’t impact the main thoroughfare. WASD designed this project in-house.
WASD officially broke ground on this project Dec. 11, 2016 with the excavation and installation of new service connections to the existing water main along Galiano and Salzedo Avenues and Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Beginning Jan. 17, the department will have 90 days to complete the half-mile construction from LeJeune Road (SW 42nd Avenue) to Douglas Road (SW 37th Avenue).
“We will only be working nights (Sundays through Thursdays) from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. to minimize impact to this business corridor,” Sola said. “We understand the impact that construction can make to businesses and the temporary inconveniences that occur, but at the end of the day, the community will benefit from improved service and these new pipes will last for the next 50 years.”
Peter Iglesias, Coral Gables assistant city manager for operations and infrastructure, said he is pleased with the joint partnership with WASD.
“The City of Coral Gables is collaborating with WASD to synchronize the necessary county water and sewer improvements with the ongoing beautification of Downtown Coral Gables, as part of our Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue Streetscape project,” Iglesias said. “It’s great to see these two government agencies working hand-in-hand to improve the services we provide to our own constituents.”
This $1.6 million water improvement project is part of WASD’s 15- to 20-year $13.5 billion Capital Improvement Program (CIP), an economic engine that will create 16,470 new jobs during the first 10 years of the program, by increasing service capacity that will support the ability of additional businesses to open in the community and improve the reliability and sustainability of the water and sewer system. During the first decade alone, $24.9 billion will be generated in economic output within Miami-Dade County.
This is phase two of WASD’s upgrades surrounding Miracle Mile. The department designed and constructed the project that installed a new 12-inch water line and fire hydrants on Galiano Avenue between Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Merrick Way. Staff began the construction after Memorial Day 2016 and had to complete it per city requirements within three weeks. WASD was up to the challenge and met this “miraculous” deadline all while removing the equipment and opening up the construction site every day by 5 p.m. to accommodate the area businesses.
It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. For additional information about department services and programs or the CIP, visit the department’s website at www.miamidade.gov/water.
Jennifer L. Messemer-Skold is media and public relations officer for Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.