Meeting about proposed 87th Avenue bridge draws crowd

Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava addresses the attendees. (Photo by Councilmember Karyn Cunningham.)

Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava addresses the attendees.
(Photo by Councilmember Karyn Cunningham.)

Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava hosted a community meeting the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 30, in the meeting room of the Palmetto Golf Course, 9300 SW 152 St.
Commissioner Levine Cava had requested the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) present updates about a proposed county plan to build a bridge across the canal at SW 87th Avenue north of 164th Street. She also had said that she was seeking input from residents about the matter.
Study data was presented by traffic engineers regarding the bridge plan as well as a new signal management system and traffic on Old Cutler Road. The bridge plan, which is recommended by the DTPW, would have to be approved by the Transportation Planning Organization and Commissioner Levine Cava serves as one vote on the TPO.
A literally standing room only crowd attended the meeting, seemingly galvanized by the prospect of a bridge in that area and its impact on traffic through the neighborhood. The majority of those speaking were against the bridge and emotions were strong.
“It was a very contentious and passionate meeting,” Commissioner Levine Cava said later. “I’m not sure what will be my recommendation. I’m still studying it. It won’t go forward for now, and I said I would try to resolve it by the end of the year.”
Gary Pastorella of Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler said he had originally been okay with the idea of the bridge, but that he had changed his mind after hearing the statements of residents in the area.
“I think a bridge at this point wouldn’t do enough good to jeopardize the quality of life on the north side of the canal,” Pastorella said. “I think that traffic circles, as long as you can keep traffic flowing, will ease a lot of the problems in Palmetto Bay. I think the size of the meeting caught the commissioner by surprise. I think they were overwhelmed by the number of people that turned out. The Southwood Middle School auditorium might have been a better location.”
Pastorella said that besides his own emails sent out to alert residents about the meeting, another group distributed flyers about the meeting to residents on the north side of the canal and that it was those residents who were strongly against the bridge.
Not all of those attending to speak their minds were against the bridge proposal, even though they were outnumbered. Lori Marie Lopez, a Palmetto Bay resident was one of several who were in favor of the bridge.
“Unfortunately, the bridge is needed desperately,” Lopez said. “The traffic is out of control on Old Cutler. What should take 10 minutes takes 35-40 minutes instead. It’s absurd. I understand both sides of the coin; I really do.”

For information or to share your opinion, contact the office of Commissioner Levine Cava by calling 305-378-6677 or by sending email to

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3 Comments on "Meeting about proposed 87th Avenue bridge draws crowd"

  1. The “No Bridging” chapter of Antifa was out in force.
    It is imperative each voting member of the TPO actually get out of their air conditioned office, put their butts in their vehicles and experience what happens along each major north/south and east/west artery in Palmetto Bay during morning and afternoon high traffic hours in order to personally experience firsthand why 77th and 87th Avenues should immediately be bridged as per the Miami-Dade Master Plan.
    Pragmatic firsthand experience burned into the retinas of the TPO voting members sprinkled with common sense needs to prevail.
    To vote without experiencing the absolute necessity to bridge would be a travesty.
    Emotion has no place in public policy.

  2. I too would be screaming “not in my backyard” but I unfortunately am out of gas as I live on one of the only open arteries going south. Please come out and sit on my side yard any weekday afternoon between the hours of 3-7 to see how people have to struggle to get home and then decide whether opening another artery is “a waste”.

  3. Either you build the bridge, or you each go down in history as someone who was elected or hired in part to reduce travel congestion, but bowed to the wishes of the few at the expense of the many. The size of the audience should be compared to the numbers of people and cars that lose an extra hour or more EACH DAY FOR THEIR ENTIRE WORKING LIVES. Those who bought on 87th AVE etc. knew or should have known the MiamiDade north/south system: AVENUES are intended as through streets. Everyone who lives in MiamiDade for any length of time knows that. And Ave’s ending in a 7 or 2 (e.g. 87Ave, 82Ave, 77Ave, etc. are designated as THE PRINCIPAL traffic streets. You bought on an Ave? Then you knew, or should have known, and had ample opportunity to have learned what you were buying. Traffic Circles do nothing but send traffic around them to wait in even longer lines to get back to Old Cutler, US 1, or whatever. Bite the bullet. Do what you were elected or hired to do.
    Build the Bridge!

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