Opinion: Consider An Elevated Pedestrian Bridge Over The Miami River

Walking across the Brickell and Miami Avenue bridges is never a pleasant experience, but it is made worse by the constant raising of the bridges.

As the area’s popularity has exploded, more and more pedestrians are caught waiting for the drawbridge, just like cars. It isn’t unusual to see 100 people waiting to cross the Brickell Avenue Bridge, and the number will continue to grow.

That’s why Miami leaders should investigate building at least one elevated bridge across the Miami River, as part of a solution to the Brickell Avenue drawbridge crisis, while also continuing work on a long-term plan to build a tunnel.

A pedestrian bridge can be built so that it is elevated just enough over the river to allow marine traffic to pass underneath, at a similar height to the Metromover overpass. That way, there isn’t any need for a drawbridge.

A tunnel will take years to plan and build. Even if it does open, a snaking, underground tunnel isn’t likely to be of use to pedestrians at all.

A pedestrian bridge can be built much faster, and at a fraction of the cost. It would also provide great views, and could become a landmark and tourist attraction if designed by the right architect.

Finding a suitable location might be the biggest challenge. One possibility could be integrating it into the Hyatt and One Brickell developments being planned on opposite sides of the river next to the Brickell bridge, which could also provide a boost to the Riverwalk.

 

pedestrians on the miami avenue bridge watch a boat pass under the metromover guideway, as they wait for the bridge to reopen:

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Anonymous
3 years ago

We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Anonymous
3 years ago

They could put a footpath between the two metromover stations on either side of the river.

aceraroja
3 years ago

That’s what I always think about. They could extend two spans across the river connecting the two mover platforms.

Anonymous
3 years ago

This a no-brainer. Should’ve been built years ago.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Sounds good, but keep in mind for ADA access you’ll either need elevators ($$$) or a ramp.

Anonymous
3 years ago

And by a ramp you mean stairs right? Because a “ramp” would have to start pretty far back to be able to achieve the height necessary this project would require. So let me get this straight, this plan calls for hundreds of people to take elevators up and down which I am sure will be costly and likely to break down or you want hundreds of people to go up hundreds of steps in the heat and humidity of Miami, up and down to use this pedestrian bridge… Give me break! This is a pie in the sky idea that will never see the light of day.

The Big P
3 years ago

The ADA Laws require elevators and/or ramps. A ramp can only rise 1″ for every 12″. And then add the “rest” levels. There’s not enough space for that! So it would be elevators. The law is the law! If a wheelchair can’t get there–then nobody can. And there we are.

ILoveMiami
3 years ago

I’ve always thought that this would be a good idea, specially if its not just functional, but beautiful as well. The BP Bridge by Frank Gehry in Chicago comes to mind. Check out the Peace Bridge in Tbilisi, Georgia (of all places) or the Helix Bridge in Singapore. These are all signature pieces. Our span is smaller, but no reason why it can’t be beautiful.

marc
3 years ago

Unfortunately we’ll never get anything remotely this cool.

Anonymous
3 years ago

If they can’t build a bridge over US 1, do you trust them to build one over a river? Lol!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Brisbane has beautiful pedestrian bridges too!

ILoveMiami
3 years ago

Yes. I like the Kurilpa and the Goodwill Bridge. I did not know about these. Thanks.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I would imagine there is more interest among the powers that be to build a tunnel for cars. A project like this, while good, will take a lot of activism and some commissioners willing to support it. Commissioners like Carollo and Reyes will probably block it.

Anonymous
3 years ago

No, this idea is cheaper, so Carollo and Reyes should love it.

Martim MSK
3 years ago

When do these Morons stop looking at things in terms of “cheap” or “expensive” and start looking at things with a socially conscious long-term view…”social utility” or “cost-benefit” spring to mind. These Commissioner Clowns are a joke…old guard.

Anonymous
3 years ago

These “leaders” always vote as if they are personally paying for any project or improvement…. Please please let’s vote in younger forward thinking individuals….

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yes, it’s other people’s money, spend! spend! spend!

Anonymous
3 years ago

We need fresh blood to run for local offices.
ex.Keon Hardemon automatically won re-election when no candidates filed to run against him.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Carollo is probably more familiar with the concept of a pedestrian tunnel than any of other Miami’s commissioners. They built a pedestrian Tunnel under the Almendares River in Havana back in 1957.

Anonymous
3 years ago

If/when the tunnel is built, a pedestrian bridge will have to be built in place of current bridge.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Not necessarily. An enclosed pedestrian tunnel could be built between the north-south tunnels like PortMiami with its emergency tunnel.

Anonymous
3 years ago

If this were to get passed, with the DUMB and CORRUPT leadership we have in this I wouldn’t be surprised if they hired the same builders/architects that built the now infamous FIU bridge… #Morons

Anonymous
3 years ago
Anonymous
3 years ago

That’s cute, but keep swearing something like that will be built in brickell/downtown with the retards we have in office making decisions…

Anonymous
3 years ago

Nice, but it’s not high enough for the Miami River. Getting up to what’s needed to cross the Miami River– and its river traffic– will require a lot of walking and climbing on lots of steps and long ramps just to get to the bridge.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I think Miami needs to lay off pedestrian bridges for the time being. We don’t have a great history of making them work.

Magazine
3 years ago

Sounds great in theory, but I don’t know how practical. If it is higher than current bridges, by definition, it will be more difficult to walk across. So people would only use it when the current bridges are open. If you get to the Brickell Ave bridge and it starts going up, are you going to walk 10 min out of your way to cross a bridge that will be up for 5/10 min?

Seems like it will be used only be pedestrians when the other bridge(s) is up, and by the people that are in that very location when the bridge goes up. It would be one thing if there was a well-published schedule of when the bridges go up, but it’s too random for an alternative pedestrian bridge to be useful. Sounds like a very expensive band aid for an issue that needs to be more broadly addressed.

Anonymous
3 years ago

too tall

Anonymous
3 years ago

Just build the tunnel first then we worry about that ped bridge later. Seems like a waste of money. Sure there is a line of people waiting everytime but no more than a few dozen.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Old School Suburban mentality at its best.

Anonymous
3 years ago

We also need some pedestrian bridge over the train line between edgewater and midtown.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Sorry to ruin everyone’s party but the fact of the matter is that with the lame ass beaurocracy that exists in Miami (not to mention corruption) this pedestrian bridge will never happent, atleast not in our lifetime unfortunately… Go ahead and comment below and throw a fit about it being you still believe in Santa Claus as well…

Anonymous
3 years ago

What.. Santa doesn’t exist?

Anonymous
3 years ago

I few people have to die before government decides a pedestrian bridge is worth building, apparently that’s how Miami politicians determine the viability of a project.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Walking thru a tunnel next to noisy trucks is bad…but then walking across the west side of existing bridge is equally bad.

Anonymous
3 years ago

The Boring Company could do a pedestrian tunnel in no time. Boats not a factor nor is rain.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaas

Anonymous
3 years ago

good idea !

Anonymous
3 years ago

Build a bridge across the Underline…. duh