Judge dismisses bridge lawsuit; town appeals decision

Government By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, November 5, 2020

     A Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Town of Miami Lakes to stop construction of the Northwest 170th Street bridge from extending onto the town’s northwest boundary.

     The decision came on Oct. 15, a year after town officials noticed construction rigs at the east side of the span above Interstate 75 between Hialeah and Miami Lakes.

     The road work prompted the town to take legal action against Miami-Dade County, the city of Hialeah and a contractor, Downrite Engineering & Development Corp

     The bridge is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation; land south of the center line of Northwest 170th Street is claimed by Miami Lakes; the northern lane belongs to the county.

     An open bridge would allow Hialeah residents who live west of 1-75 easier access to schools and the Palmetto Expressway.

     The court’s decision was a blow to town residents and officials concerned about increased traffic.

     Town Attorney Raul Gastesi told The Miami Laker the court didn’t consider the terms of a 2003 road transfer agreement in its decision.

     But the judge found keeping the bridge closed was not in the public interest; that under the 2003 agreement the county didn’t transfer rights regarding roads or the bridge that were not designated a part of the county system at that time, and that it’s the county’s responsibility to regulate traffic, among other objections.

     County and Hialeah officials were unavailable for comment.

     On Oct. 22, Gastesi filed an appeal of the county court’s decision to the Third District Court of Appeals.


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