The Underline secures additional funding for Coral Gables segment

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The Underline secures additional funding for Coral Gables segment
The Underline will be a 10-mile linear multi-modal corridor underneath the Metrorail guideway.
(Concept art courtesy TheUnderline.org)

The Underline was awarded a firm $7 million commitment from the City of Coral Gables on July 14 to help fund a portion of the 10-mile linear multi-modal corridor underneath the Metrorail guideway.

The Underline is a public-private partnership with Miami Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), Parks Recreation and Open Spaces (PROS) Department, and the non-profit Friends of the Underline. Once completed, the multi-modal trail and park will span from the Miami River to the Dadeland South Metrorail station and will transform the underutilized space beneath the Miami-Dade Transit Metrorail tracks with unique amenities and park settings.

“We are creating a linear park that is going to provide a lasting benefit to our community and that seamlessly blends mobility under the path of our Metrorail system,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I have no doubt The Underline will be enjoyed by our residents and visitors for years to come.”

In 2017, Miami-Dade County and the City of Coral Gables entered into an agreement where the city committed a contribution of up to $15 million for the construction of The Underline.

After further review and consideration, the total was amended to a firm $7 million to be distributed over the course of three fiscal years beginning in 2021-22. The moneys will come from parks and mobility impact fees to help fund a three-mile segment of The Underline from Douglas Road to LeJeune Road in Coral Gables.

The $7 million commitment comes after a unanimous vote from the Coral Gables Commission on a resolution spearheaded by Gables Vice Mayor Vince Lago.

“I am honored to have worked with Meg Daly and Friends of The Underline to help bring this incredible project to fruition,” Vice Mayor Lago said. “A world-class linear park like The Underline will further complement what makes South Florida so special and improve the quality of life in our city.”

The project was awarded a $22.3 million BUILD Transportation Grant by the federal government in late 2019 to help fund this transformative open space. The Underline will not only enhance the area underneath the Metrorail line, but also act as an economic catalyst.

“As a department, we are thrilled that The Underline has received additional funding that will help make this phenomenal project a reality,” said DTPW director Alice N. Bravo, PE.

“The 10-mile linear park and trail will not only beautify and activate the space underneath our Metrorail tracks, but it will also help to encourage our community to use alternative mobility solutions, walking and biking so that they can connect to our public transit system.”

“I would also like to thank the City of Coral Gables Commission for their unanimous decision to help fund this multi-modal corridor in our county,” Bravo added.

The Underline will provide the community a connection to improved pedestrian and bicyclist paths and create more than 120 acres of open spaces with restored natural habitats.

Additionally, it will attract development to transit hubs generating a significant economic impact.

“The Underline is a big project that has the potential to solve big problems,” said Meg Daly, founder, CEO, and president of Friends of The Underline. “I am proud to be a part of such a hardworking and dedicated team. Together, we’re creating a safer, healthier, more connected, and engaged community.”

The Underline is slated to be built in three phases and be completed in 2025. The first phase of construction, the Brickell Backyard, broke ground in November 2018 and is preparing for a grand opening in this fall.

For more information on the project, visit theunderline.org.


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1 COMMENT

  1. IMHO, this is a poor use of citizen’s money. Parks are wonderful, and serenity is one of the ingredients that define a good park. The intrusive noise from both the Metrorail and US-1 disrupts peace and will severely limit the use of this “linear park”. Will the new park spur greater mobility via access to the “public transportation system”? Access already exists. Is that why ridership is lower than desired? Or is the reason that Miami-Dade county does not have a truly integrated and coordinated public transportation system?

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