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.