Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday urging the Florida Department of Transportation to open the Northwest 154th Street bridge across Interstate 75 which connects Miami Lakes and Hialeah and Miami-Dade County.
Commission Chair Jose “Pepe” Diaz had proposed the item in February for the transportation committee and the full board voted March 1 to defer it and give Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo and Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid two more weeks to negotiate terms about opening the bridge.
The span at Northwest 170th Street is the subject of litigation.
But on March 4, all of the parties announced a tentative deal from atop the Northwest 170th Street bridge to open it and to open the southern span after a decade.
Those proposed terms were not voted upon by the town council when it met March 8 and a memorandum of understanding has since undergone more changes. The town council is set to discuss it in executive session Wednesday morning and a town hall meeting for the public is scheduled for Wednesday night.
During Tuesday’s county commission meeting, Diaz said, “I just need a motion on the item. I’m not gonna sit here and discuss all the negatives on it.”
Commissioner Sally Heyman had pulled the item for discussion and said, “Is this the agreement or not? I couldn’t figure out what was before us.”
Diaz recounted recent events.
“We went on top of the bridge. We even took turns because we couldn’t be there at the same time,” he said. “And we shook hands and we thought it was done and then Lord knows, the next day Miami Lakes reneged on what they said and they want to sit down and talk again.”
Diaz said though the board was moving forward on the legislation for the Northwest 154th Street bridge, “This does not stop the negotiation between the mayors. That continues on.”
Commissioner Rene Garcia, who represents Miami Lakes and a small portion of Hialeah, began to ask for updates but Diaz stopped the discussion.
“Senator, I suggest you get the update directly,” Diaz said. “And I’ll ask everybody to do so. In the interest of time because this could turn into a long argument.”
Diaz pushed through a vote and the resolution passed, with Garcia dissenting.
It's not yet known how soon either bridge may be opened to traffic.