Signature Bridge Is Already Tapping Contingency Funds While Adding Time To Schedule (Despite A Promise To Build Fast)

Miami’s $802 million Signature Bridge won’t be completed in four years as originally promised or within budget.

A spokesperson for the project confirmed both the time and the cost overrun.

The time overrun is particularly troubling, since a promise to build quickly was the primary reason contractor Archer Western- de Moya Joint Venture was selected as the winning bidder for the project in 2017.

Archer Western’s proposal had been ranked low by a local committee during the 2017 selection process. At the last minute, Archer Western shortened their work plan from five years to four years, giving them a half point victory in a ranking and making them the winning bidder in what Sunshine State News said was a process that had been rigged by FDOT (local residents were forbidden from seeing the proposals and participating in the selection, but a local committee had ranked the Archer Western proposal low for aesthetics).

Last year at this time, a project website estimated completion in fall of 2023. Now, the website is estimating completion a year later, in fall 2024.

A spokesperson for the project explained the reasons for the time and cost overruns.

Oscar Gonzalez, a senior community outreach specialist for the project, explained to The Next Miami that contingency funds have been used to cover the increased costs of materials and labor. The sharp rise in steel prices in particular is affecting the budget for the project.

While the contractor had been given a four year deadline to completion that began in October 2018, extra days are permitted to be added to the completion deadline when there are special events, holidays, or weather delays. A total of 80 days have been granted by FDOT so far, including for events at the Arsht Center, American Airlines Arena, Bayfront Park and Marlins Park, Gonzalez said.

Work will likely be suspended for extended periods during the upcoming Super Bowl Festivities, according to Gonzalez. Extension days will also be added for Art Basel, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, the International Boat Show, and the Miami Marathon.

A significant number of weather delay days are also expected to be granted, since the project involves a large amount of rain-sensitive concrete work for the bridge substructure and superstructure. On I-95, concrete pavement replacement will take place both northbound and southbound from NW 8 Street to NW 29 Street.

A water main under Bayshore Drive will also unexpectedly need to be relocated, adding time.

The one year extra in completion is just a projection for now based on the number of delay days forecast, Gonzalez said.

 

 

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transplant

lmao the corruption. “We have no money for rail” but $1B would have easily extended the metrorail or metromover into Wynwood, Edgewater and Design District. Instead we have a traffic mess without any real functional reason to point to. Sure, it’s aesthetically more pleasing but I’d have preferred some real problem-solving solutions. Real shame the rats made it into this $1B block of cheese.

Anonymous

I completely get your point and I agree with it, however in politics, moneys are appropriated to individual projects. The money for this bridge could not have gone to something else such as the Metrorail and Metromover. If they had decided to skip on the bridge the money would have gone back to Tallahassee. Sad but true.

Anonymous

Look, I’m going to explain this one more time to people like you.

The FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION owns this and the city of Miami has no jurisdiction over it. Anything concerning the Metrorail and Metromover is owned and controlled by the city and county of Miami and MiamiDade which the FDOT has no jurisdiction over.

Now, I hope that clears things up for you.

Anonymous

FDOT is overseeing the SMART Plan which entails the expansion of Metrorail. FDOT can definitely contribute funds to a Metrorail expansion and is contributing funds to the operation of Metrorail and Tri Rail as we speak. FDOT’s funds were crucial to build the system to begin with. FDOT operates as a decentralized governmental entity to allow local areas more say in how their transit dollars are spent. Money does not simply “go back to Tallahassee” if not spent. Its allocated by district, in this case to Dade and Monroe counties to be spent in those districts as they see fit. If FDOT decided to use its toll monies or governmental allotment to expand Metororail theres nothing preventing that. There isnt some faceless bureaucrat in Tallahassee saying “Give me back the money.” There’s just a faceless bureaucrat in Miami saying “I cant make money off this, lets build more express lanes.” Our transit agencies are supposed to work in conjunction with one another to develop a transit master plan. FDOT would be an excellent source of funding for these plans but seems more intent on rebuilding a perfectly fine bridge while causing a traffic nightmare for a decade and adding express… Read more »

Flymia

Its still tax payer money, and its still a waste of $850,000,000.00

FDOT is Florida Department of TRANSPORTATION. In reality it is the Florida Department of Roads. Why not get some real transportation changes out of FDOT?

Anonymous

What you mean is YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND how this makes sense.
You would be pleasantly surprised to know that there are very bright people who have taken a catastrophic deterioration of our bridges, and a dangerous road system that was planned decades ago, to leverage funds to straighten the roadway, reconfigure exits, add park space, open up green spaces, and (OH MY!) They also add an architectural feature on top of it all.

The more people are educated on what is happening here, the more you love it. The ignorant ones get mad.

Anonymous

Anyone who thinks there will ever be “green space” underneath a highway clearly doesn’t understand simple middle school biology and more specifically how chlorophyll needs sunlight to work!

The more people are educated on this the more they see how rotten this corrupt contractor money grab is. There will be no park space or communal spaces underneath it heavily used by people (as in the bull___ renderings). It will remain as soulless and lifeless as any underpass in the entire rest of the country, just you watch and see. It will snarl traffic for years and serve no purpose ultimately other than to enrich a few key engineering/construction firms contributing to the campaigns of crooked politicians.

Anonymous

It is so sad.

For all of the progress that Miami has made with education there are still a lot of people have no idea how their city (county/state/federal) government works.

Anonymous

#1. There are only a few people, usually broke people, who would want the rail exented to “Wynwood, Edgewater and Design District” (as if they are the same).
#2. The land purchases, the re positioning of the I395/836 highway has extraordinary engineering input (possibly, even smarter engineers than a NextMiami commenter).
#3. You really do not know what you are writing about.

Anonymous

The ignorance in this comment is outstanding smh

Anonymous

Can you articulate the part of the comment that YOU “think” is ignorant?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jesus take the wheel…

Anonymous

I am not surprised at all. I would be willing to bet $100 bucks this will not be completed until 2027 and that is assuming that we do not get hit by another Andrew. You can also count on the fact that it will cost 50% to 70% more than what they agreed on.

POLO

When all is done, this thing will cost well over a billion dollars. With that money, they could have extended Metrorail from the airport to west Miami-Dade.

Anonymous

Okay….will you go to $1,000? I’m in for that bet.

Anonymous

Look, to speed up things and save money, scrap the arches.

Anonymous

No

Anonymous

Keep the arches and get rid of the park that no one in their right mind will visit.

Anonymous

The FDOT apologists are back. They know how deeply unpopular this project is. Its almost like they are realizing how unpopular it was to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to create more traffic and tolls and need to explain away the stupidity of this project and others. Maybe they should get back to what they are best at: Shutting down 95 to repave 50 square feet at 9 PM so no matter what time you leave work, you get to sit in bumper to bumper traffic! These contractors arent gonna get rich on their own dont you know?

Anonymous

You are not sitting in the meetings that I am. The smart people in this community know that it is a net benefit for safety, traffic flow, pedestrian experience on the waterfront, and connectivity from the PAC to the PAMM & Frost.

Any ignorant commenter here would understand if they just walked from the bay’s edge to I-95 following along and under I836.
Get out and experience that….and if you live to return to this web page, you will be converted.

Anonymous

How is wasting upwards of a billion dollars on something that will cause more problems then it solves a net benefit. Idk why we Miami is even touching the interstates and expressways anymore, they go everywhere we need them to. Want to make them more usable, maybe add other practical ways to get around besides just the car to free up some of those lanes.

Anonymous

It is YOUr opinion that the money is waste. There are many people that understand the facts of this matter, and have different opinion based on:
1. The facts of the matter.
2. Extraordinary education in these matters.
3. And decades of experience as an adult.

It is tempting for young people to think that they have all the great ideas, and that the experienced people are somehow making decisions because they are either stupid or corrupt.
It would we wise to imagine another possibility. That possibility being that the experienced people know a thing or two because they have seen a thing or two.
Emphasis on the “it would be wise”.
Wisdom, however, is not a hallmark of youth.

Anonymous

Arrogance is a halmark of boomers… clearly. Thinking you know whats better for others because it benefits yourselves. This is the kind of selfish thinking that got us the housing meltdown, most of the past few economic recessions, and the global warming situation we have now.

All experience has taught you apparently is to ignore your own generations many failures and discount future generations as stupid since you don’t agree with them.

This is the legacy you are choosing to leave others to measure you by… sad.

Anonymous

Just build the new bridge without all the concrete spider looking stuff and bam! You’re under budget, you finish early, and nobody remembers this ridiculously over complicated sham of a design.

Anonymous

Wow, great idea, thank you for saving us hundreds of millions!

suomynona

I agree that a “signature” OVERPASS is stupid.

But since this overpass is specifically a suspension overpass, they kind of need that spider looking stuff.

Anonymous

Here’s an idea: Just forget the whole damn rebuild, save us the money and let it go back to the way it functioned before. When there was never traffic. Then apologize to the taxpayers for this idea, beg for forgiveness, rip up the express lanes and contribute more money to a mass transit expansion that could actually lure federal dollars.

Oh and fire the entire FDOT Division 6 office.

Anonymous

Hmmm….”save us the money”. Us?
How much in taxes have you paid towards this project in your LIFETIME?
Quit saying “us”. You mean, “me”.

I am proud to say that this is a great project and I want to have a straightened, safe, suspension bridge so that the Baywalk and Museums can be connected and the suspension bridge is tall enough to let some light in under those Overtown areas where no man under 6’2″ 235 lbs would dare to walk.

Anonymous

No. Get rid of the stupid underpass so called park for the homeless, that the city is supposed to maintain, but as we all know, it will quickly fall into decay.

Anonymous

That was the original plan, however Miami politicians demanded a “signature” bridge. FDOT caved and came up with this design. As modern iconic bridges go, this looks a bit ametuerish, but at the same time we don’t need anymore half-baked projects in the city.

Anonymous

The “spider looking stuff” makes up about 10% of the cost.
It is an amazing project. Learn about it. Take a look at the budget, it is extraordinary what is happening there. Lazy people will sit back and whine, but for intelligent people with an open mind, this project is truly fascinating.

suomynona

An amazing project that includes double-decking 836. Hooray.

Anonymous

Wait did FDOT over promise and already under deliver? Say it aint so!

Anonymous

Disgusting project. Thanks for being on top of this TNM.

Anonymous

TNM is doing the journalism the Miami Herald wont lately. The Herald is still putting together its newest expose on Mana’s “vision” for Flagler.

Anonymous

this is such such such bullshit

Anonymous

basically we can expect the timeline to keep moving up?? 6 or 8 years? Just be honest.

Anonymous

At the last minute, Archer Western shortened their work plan from five years to four years, giving them a half point victory in a ranking and making them the winning bidder in what Sunshine State News said was a process that had been rigged by FDOT (local residents were forbidden from seeing the proposals and participating in the selection, but a local committee had ranked the Archer Western proposal low for aesthetics). *** They magically shortened their timeline !!!!???? THAT’S Miami AF !!!!!!

Anonymous

So much money wasted that could be used to extend Metromover to my front yard in Westchester.

Anonymous

Westchester? Yuk.

Anonymous

It is absolute BS that they don’t have an expensive neighborhood to Westchester connection.
Buy,I think you mean MetroRAIL. Other people should pay for your transportation and your transportation should be fast! and modern! and with an amazing experience!

The people who pay $4M plus should pay more so that you can have a WeahCheesy-Link to your front doorstep so that Westchester people can have access to the same $350 Fish dishes that Brickell people have access to at Le Petite Maison.

These “corrupt” politicians should buy you a pony, and the transportation of your choice from Westchester to Fisher Island too. How stupid that there isn’t an express connector from Goulds to Fisher Island.

Anonymous

Not enough room in your front yard with the plaster Jesus statue and the 1998 Isuzu Rodeo taking up such valuable space.

Anonymous

Revoke the project award. Some of the other proposals had a much better design.

Anonymous

Is ANYONE surprised about this? – Signed: Captain Obvious

Anonymous

I’d say more like Fall 2025

Anonymous

this bridge would have been built in a year if this was Japan or China…this is ridiculous.

Interested

Where is the outrage from the City and County?. Cut your losses before it gets out of hand. Dump this project now!

Anonymous

Why is everyone surprised? this is Miami, home of the most corrupt city officials in the country.

Anonymous

You really don’t know much about city officials around the US

William

Another clickbait headline. All fdot projects have adjustments baked in for cost of materials increasing or decreasing. Fuel, concrete, structural steel and rebar. The scheduled delay’s for events are mandated by FDOT to avoid interfering with local events. This is not a contractor projected delay. This is a forced FDOT projected delay. Why does everyone get so negative so quickly. I think the new media rules are… first shock with bad news. Then write stories that sort of seem like its bad news.

Anonymous

But, the contractor Archer Western- de Moya Joint Venture are the ones who said it would take four years… so don’t blame people on this site for sounding “so negative.”

Anonymous

forget it. William didn’t care to read the article only the headline.

William

I think there is a misconception on schedules. The projects are not based on calendar schedules. They are based on contract days. They do this so that the FDOT can block out dates (like the superbowl) or weather days throughout the project life cycle. This article is spinning a delay or accusing subversion on schedule without cause.

Anonymous

Ah yes the “Super Bowl” delay. For the game that’s nowhere near here and all the events are for in Broward like last Super Bowl. And lasts one afternoon. That must explain kicking it back a year. I’m sure we won’t see another delay or two or three

Anonymous

This time around Miami has stood its ground and demanded that the majority of events be held in Miami, as well they should. We will see if anything has changed.

Anonymous

You do not know anything about the Superbowl or where the week’s events will be held. The “Host Hotel” is the Intercontinental which is about 8 blocks from the bridge. The main NFL Experience is in Bayfront Park and Museum Park, about 3 blocks from the bridge.
Stop typing if you do not know what you are talking about. Please.

Anonymous

He’s right. The main events are in broward. Please don’t post if you don’t know what your talking about

Anonymous

You do not know what you’re talking about. Check with the the city of Miami. What “main events” are you referring to that are in Broward County?

Anonymous

The Super Bowl Official Hotel is in Fort Lauderdale you idiot

Anonymous

No it’s not, you lunatic.

William

No they are right. The main events and hotel are in Broward but that doesn’t mean these shut down days aren’t needed.

Anonymous

So what is it to you? I wonder how many of you even travel on this road. Allow them to do their work. Use an alternate route. I thought many of you don’t like cars anyway, so why the gripes?

Anonymous

Great post William. Unfortunately, we have come to point in time when the meek have inherited this comments section. There are more people with “I Am MDC” stickers in their car windows than with college diplomas on their walls.
Educating the ignorant on this website if futile.
The Next Miami knows that they are catering to really dumb people with these headlines, and as soon as the advertisers like the Fountainbleau figure out that these whiners couldn’t afford a Fountainbleu Martini (even if the people that can paid for a Baylink to get them there for free), they will stop their advertising spend.

Anonymous

What a truly despicable sentiment you have. Nothing but contempt and hatred for the tax payers who are funding this idiotic project. Your MDC comment shows what an evil, authoritarian mindset your ilk has. The tax payers don’t want this vanity project. Scum like you and the FDOT board and the entire Division 6 office are trying to shove it down our throats is only going to piss people off more. We don’t want it. And no amount of useless degrees you and the scum who infest FDOT division 6 like maggots parade in front of us will change that.

Anonymous

And none of your stupid, poorly written comments will stop the construction. You don’t have to like it, and above all, you don’t have to use it, so shut the hell up.

Anonymous

“Shut up and deal with it!” Lol the facist wannabe who knows better than the lowly educated masses who he wants to pay for his vanity project shows his and FDOTs true colors. An unelected bureaucrat is the true vermin of society like this commenter.

Anonymous

It is funny that you choose to denigrate the commenter’s education when your own post states” (even if the people that can paid for a Baylink to get them there for free), they will stop their advertising spend. You are a phony wannabe.

William

Just very sad to see this commentary. 🙁

William

Attacking people for their educational level is downright wrong. It’s this arrogance that keeps the public from trusting agencies. Your not better than someone because they went to MDCC or your rich. Please don’t associate me with this post.