July 6, 2013

Audubon Society Wildlife Director: Portman-CMC MBSquare Bridge for Miami Beach Convention Center Could Cause Irreparable Damage In Manatee Zone

Audubon Society endorses ACE/Koolhaas proposal.

Because Portman-CMC's plan for an approximately 80-foot wide bridge over the Collins Canal may put pedestrians, school children and the environment at risk.

"The Collins Canal contains endangered seagrass, a staple food source for manatees, which could suffer irreparable damage from the construction of a new bridge," says Grant Campbell, Director of Wildlife Policy for the South Florida Audubon Society.

The Portman-CMC bridge creates a second, unnecessary northern entrance to the convention center site that will result in bottlenecks along Washington Ave. and Dade Blvd., pedestrian safety issues, and permitting challenges that will significantly delay the team's questionable construction schedule:

  • The canal is a designated manatee zone and a known habitat for Johnson’s seagrass, according to Miami Beach’s Public Works Dept.
  • Miami Beach Planning Board member Frank Kruszewski thinks Portman-CMC'sbridge traffic alongside Miami Beach High School will pose “significant safety concerns for the students and the general public.”
  • The planned bridge will divert large trucks and cars directly through a proposed park north of the convention center, disrupting the green space.
Any alternative proposal to the bridge in Portman-CMC's plan will not work, because large trucks wont be able to make the sharp turns necessary to enter the convention center.

The South Beach ACE/Koolhaas/Tishman proposal uses existing roads and infrastructure to route trucks into the site. That means less traffic, less harm to the environment, and less risk to neighborhood residents and school children.

For these reasons and more, South Beach ACE has won support from a growing list of Miami Beach community groups, businesses, and convention center users, including the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Miami International Boat ShowPalm View Historic District Association, and dozens of Lincoln Road property owners.

Learn more about the South Beach ACE plan by viewing the below video, visiting their website, or connecting with them on via social media. (@sobeace)

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