Opening date not yet set for NW 170th Street bridge

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Wednesday, June 1, 2022

    The Northwest 170th Street bridge over Interstate 75 that connects Hialeah and Miami Lakes could be open to traffic within weeks.

     Miami-Dade County commissioners unanimously approved an agreement on May 17 between the county, city and town regarding that span and the bridge at Northwest 154th Street

     Ten days later, an opening date for the Northwest 170th Street bridge had not yet been set by the county, a spokeswoman said. 

     The county Department of Transportation is coordinating with Lennar Corp., which has built residential neighborhoods on the west side of the bridge, to construct a connection between Northwest 170th Street and Northwest 97th Avenue, along a canal.

     Miami Lakes resident Gina Massoni said having the northern span closed “has been a challenge.” 

     Massoni lives in the Satori development along Northwest 87th Avenue and says it can sometimes take more than 90 minutes to bring her son to the South Florida Autism Charter School at 3751 NW 108th St. in Hialeah. 

     “I know it’s going to bring more traffic, but I feel like the people that already travel on 87th Avenue are the same people that are doing the same thing,” Massoni said.

      The deal was signed after years of acrimony and resistance from some town residents fearing increased traffic from the county and developments west of I-75 in Hialeah.

     Councilmembers Marilyn Ruano and Luis Collazo voted against the memorandum on April 7. 

     The key terms are: 

--The town will dismiss its 2019 lawsuit against Miami-Dade County, Hialeah, Lennar Corp. and its contractor Downright Engineering over construction on a Miami Lakes section of Northwest 170th Street that the town said was not permitted. 

--The Northwest 170th Street bridge will not be open for tractor-trailers with five or more axles or dump trucks with three or more axles. Trucks carrying cargo to the east side will have to turn onto Northwest 87th Avenue.

--The county, through the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization, will make a long-range transportation plan and open the southern span for first responders, pedestrians, electric golf carts, bicycles and scooters. A single-lane road will be built for first responders and emergency gates will block regular traffic.

--The county will consider connecting Northwest 97th Avenue to Northwest 186th Street and whether to extend Northwest 170th Street from Northwest 97th Avenue to Florida’s Turnpike. 

--In 2031, a traffic study committee will analyze traffic needs around the Northwest 154th Street bridge and could recommend whether to open it. 

--If on-ramps are built from Northwest 154th Street onto I-75, then that committee will not be formed or will dissolve and the bridge will be opened. 

--The county will fund and build green trails that may include areas for walking and bicycling, with landscaping and benches on both sides of the Northwest 154th Street bridge; the municipalities will maintain them.

--The Jakey Duque statue erected in memory of a child who died from a rare cancer may be moved because of traffic needs.

--The parties will lobby state and federal officials to fund construction of ramps onto The Gratigny Parkway at Northwest 67th Avenue.