Brickell Bridge Needs Extended Lockdown Until Tunnel Is Built

On a recent weekday evening just past 7pm, we watched what has become a regular occurrence: a single pleasure yacht demanded that the Brickell Avenue drawbridge be raised, causing chaos for thousands in the area.

Miles of cars backed up on both sides, while pedestrians queued at the gates. Bells rang, horns honked. Residents, office workers and hotel guests disturbed.

The area around the bridge is the epicenter of Miami’s booming economy, with billions being poured into new residential, office, hotel and retail projects. The economic impact of the area now clearly outweighs that of the Miami River, by far.

Opening the bridge is also a major public health risk. There are thousands blocked off from emergency services due to the gridlock caused by each opening, and it’s just a matter of time until someone dies from a medical emergency while waiting for a paramedic stuck in traffic.

It is madness to continue to open the bridge on demand. Lockdown hours should be expanded through all business hours and into the evening. Exceptions for boats that are having supposed emergencies should be eliminated.

The infrastructure may eventually be upgraded to allow for marine traffic, but until then it’s time to lock the bridge down.


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I 100% agree. They opened it up yesterday at 5:20 pm during rush hour!!! How can a large corporation seriously think of relocating to Miami if this blockade is happening more and more at will(thanks to the Coast Guard blocking every effort for accountability). That is not Miami 21, but 1970.


Plenty office space in CBD and Edgewater, which are mostly unaffected by this


Like going to a meeting at a law firm on Brickell and being late an hour because of this bridge.


Edgewaters would be the perfect place for a forward thinking developer to build a super tall office /retail west of omni … Access to interstates and NO garbage bridge to contend with equals 100% occupancy factor….


What is your point? There is also plenty of space in Doral, Kendall, etc. This article is about Brickell and problems with a bridge that affects thousands of people who are already living and working there.


Kendall is not part of downtown


But this comment is about companies moving to Miami…

So it’s actually a poignant point to bring in Doral, though I often get short-sighted with the urban core.

Miami Hurricane

No offense, but hedge funds, traders, and other securities firms tend to prefer Brickell over Kendall. Finance likes tight proximity (and skyscraper views).


A tunnel is the only answer and articles like this help keep this issue front and center. Much like the Port Tunnel, this needs to be built!


Or get out of your car for once in your life. Metromover is not disturbed by boat traffic.


That the US Coast Guard which, as I understand it, controls the drawbridge continuously ignores the agreement to keep the bridge down during peak hours is ludicrous. The idea to keep the bridge on some semi-permanent lockdown during all working hours is equally ludicrous. Maybe before we spend $1 b + on a tunnel or forfeit all commerce on the river somebody should try to get the Coast Guard to actually adhere to the rules.


As much as many criticize the idea of an editorial, let’s look at the issue at hand. Should the rules change to prevent such an incident that happened a thing of the past? We like seeing articles about Miami making progress. Well, hopefully someone sees that many in Miami actually want some progress and would like to see that bridge only go up when it doesn’t impact traffic and economic activity in the area. I for one agree with the editors of the article.


Excellent point!!! That bridge opens anytime a prick with a canoe goes by!


Quit your whinning, take the metro rail or metro mover. They are not impacted. Take that billion+ dollars for a tunnel and put it to good use — build more rail in Miami.


Yeah I am sure all the thousands of people stuck on this bridge are going to precise locations that the Metro and Metromover service. You are an idiot.


I do know one thing for sure: those thousands of people chose to use the Brickell bridge, KNOWING they will be stuck idling and spewing exhaust and kicking up brake-pad dust into the air, and then laying on their stupid horns in my fucking ear as I try to cycle or walk by in the street. They could take the loop around on 95 but they choose not to do this very simple efficient workaround. So one small bit of satisfaction I get as a resident of downtown is that these people are miserable for several minutes a day in their polluting tanks, even though they are so braindead they don’t ever learn from the experience and, with less ability to learn a lesson than a dog, repeat it day after day.

No tunnel. Use the money to extend Metrorail.


Llegó la hora,resolver cuanto antes,buscar alternativas,ese es el plan


English, please for the non-gentile.


Excellent to have these ideas on TNM.
Definitely needs to be addressed. Ridiculous to have that bridge open.
New Mayor Francis Suarez get together with the County and DO SOMETHING NOW to solve this problem!!


While I agree lock down hours need to be expanded, to make it during all working hours is insane. There are large cargo ships that pass through. What there needs to be is an actual schedule for times that the bridge goes up and down. Want to get through the river, get there in time. Second, the issue is worse right now then it usually is in the evening because of the construction on Biscayne Blvd Way. It takes longer to just clear the cars off the bridge than it does to actually have the bridge go up and down. The bridge needs to have a better way to get cars from coming on the bridge 30-60 seconds before it begins its process of going up and allow the cars on the bridge to get off. I have waited 10 minutes once waiting for cars to just get off the bridge. And then you have bikes, scooters and pedestrians continuing to cross that delays it further. Better pedestrian gates are needed. I see the biggest problem is that it takes too long to just get all the gates down. A better system with the near by traffic lights needs to… Read more »


Two-thirds of the boats are illegal junkers going to Caribbean islands. If you enforce that, the bridge won’t have to go up as much.

Still, a better opinion than demolishing I-95.


Wondering where you get your data?

George Saenz

Keep the junkers anchored offshore like in other cities and have them come in late night on the high tide if they have to wait for that. Or better yet have them go to the port of Miami.

Transit supporter

Use public transit. This should not fall on county taxpayers. The city approved all these new condos, people need to get out of their cars.


If public transit wasn’t horrible here, then maybe.


Consider “congestion pricing” as cheap alternative.


Brickell is not interesting anymore ….. wait till edgewater and surrounding areas are full developed …


Unless you find cereal box condos with big parking garages interesting, if Edgewater continues to develops the way it has, it will never be as interesting as Brickell.


What’s so interesting about Edgewater? I can’t even think of one great restaurant…

Edgewater also a terrible driving, walking, biking situation – you are forced on Biscayne with no parallel roads that take you completely through the neighborhood (20th -36th on east of Biscayne) via back streets like most other neighborhoods.


Finally someone spoke and I hope the government will listen this time because the situation is unbearable


Destroying real estate values in the area. The traffic patrol team really only makes things worse.


Totally agree with limiting times for all watercraft to open the bridge, it’s chaos when up !


I have transmitted boats down the entire east coast and this is the only place I have seen where the Bridge is opened on demand during rush hour.


Solve this huge problem Mr. Mayor….Solve it!