The Miami Beach City Commission voted down a plan to elevate North Bay Road amid growing concerns from residents that it could ruin their property values and lead to flooding on their properties.
The contentious move could delay the project for close to six years since the Florida Department of Transportation plans to start its Alton Road project in 2021. While Alton Road is under construction, drivers will be re-directed to North Bay Road.
The commission, in a 5-2 vote, turned down the plan to upgrade pipes for drinking, sewage and stormwater, as well as elevating upper North Bay Road. David Mancini and Sons was the winning bidder of the $24 million contract. Mayor Dan Gelber said the city needs to elevate streets and install pumps in order to protect property values, but some residents are wary that elevating roads could cause more flooding.
Miami Beach, which has some of the area’s most expensive real estate, faces up to 2 feet of sea level rise by 2060, according to the Southeast Florida Climate Compact. NOAA reports show the island could see high tide floods on a daily basis by 2070.
Earlier this year, the city fired its former engineer Bruce Mowry, who stewarded the city’s sea level rise mitigation efforts, after he was found to have skirted environmental regulations, including building a seawall on Indian Creek and removing protected mangroves without permits. [Miami Herald] – Keith Larsen