The Florida Department of Transportation voted for the winning design of Miami’s I-395 reconstruction and new signature bridge – sans public input – and on a tight margin.
A state panel endorsed a proposal by a joint venture team led by Archer Western and The de Moya Group for the $800 million project on Friday, the Miami Herald reported. The proposal, which beat the Fluor-Astaldi-MCM team by half a point, was not scored by the FDOT committee on aesthetics. In fact, a panel of community representatives preferred Fluor-Astaldi-MCM’s proposal.
FDOT’s cone of silence shut the public out of the process until a decision was made, and a formal bid protest by the runner-up is expected. Former city of Miami commissioner Marc Sarnoff is alleging that FDOT manipulated the scores to override the community panel’s pick, according to the Herald.
Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties, said the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corp., a group that works on neighborhood planning surrounding the Arts & Entertainment District, was “very disturbed” by the scoring. “The project has been closed to public opinion, an $800 million project. That fact alone is shocking. We implore you, do not rubber-stamp,” Goldman Srebnick, a board member of the group, said.
The project proposals also include plans for parks and open space underneath and would reconnect streets that are blocked by the current expressway, which negatively impacted Overtown when it was built in the 1960s.
An attorney for the runner-up told the committee that it can override the score if Fluor-Astaldi-MCM provides a better overall value. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis