MDX is pushing to start designing the planned $1 billion 836 expressway expansion into West Kendall even as Gov. Ron DeSantis seeks to abolish the agency.

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s (MDX) accelerated interest in asking for bids from design firms comes after a judge on Aug. 9 rejected a state law abolishing the agency. The vote on the bidding process could come as early as next week.

MDX is responsible for tolls, construction and other decisions that impact Airport, Dolphin, Don Shula, Gratigny, and Snapper Creek expressways.

It may be a Pyrrhic victory, however, as the current litigation prevents MDX from selling bonds on Wall Street to fund projects like the 836 extension. Additionally, the move to abolish MDX prompted Wall Street to downgrade the expressway agency’s debt rating, making it more expensive to borrow money.

The ruling, which the state is expected to appeal, ended for now efforts to establish a new highway oversight agency beholding to Tallahassee on key spending issues. The new agency would be called the Greater Miami Expressway Agency, and would leverage MDX staff and other infrastructure and inherit existing tolls.

The expansion project, called the Kendall Parkway, would create a 13-mile toll road extension to the 836 expressway that supporters like Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez argue will better connect Kendall residents to live, work and recreation opportunities. Critics of the plan are concerned it would encourage suburban sprawl and degrade the environment.

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  1. When a highway is extended, it introduces additional traffic volumes to the original section. So, building an extension will create a demand to significantly widen SR 836 along its entire length. This will, in turn, introduce more traffic because commuters will be less inclined to use transit and will instead buy more cars. This effort is short sighted. County residents would be better served by: extending Tri-Rail west on the CSX alignment from its Airport terminus to the current end of SR 836 at the CSX next to NW 12 St and 137 Avenue; adding express buses on 137 Av from there to the Country Walk / Zoo Miami area; and by extending Metrorail from US 1 west down the median of N Kendall Dr to at least SW 137 Av, building one station at a time to keep project costs manageable, and including a diesel trolley/light rail on the CSX next to SR 874 to transfer from Metrorail to MDC at SW 104 St and beyond to the Gold Coast RR Museum at Zoo Miami for a station and storage yard as well as north to at least Coral Way if not all the way to the Airport Station. Finally, tear out the unused glass Amtrak office and extend one track through it to end closer to NW 21 St so Amtrak’s Silver Meteor will finally fit, build a new office on the south side of the existing station structure next to the lengthened track and raise that eastern platform to train floor height (like Brightline did) so passengers don’t have to climb into the train. There’s no freight train there to prevent the raised platform. FDOT apparently shortened the track design to build an obsolete bus depot on their property that will never be used below the TriRail and Amtrak offices because the County built their own at NW 25 St. You can see the bus shelters at both with Google Earth.


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