Town council closer to signing bridge agreement

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Wednesday, March 30, 2022

     The Town of Miami Lakes is getting closer to reaching an agreement about opening the Northwest 170th Street bridge, and to decide how long the bridge at Northwest 154th Street will remain closed.

      Following an executive session of the Miami Lakes town council held Thursday that was closed to the public, the elected officials agreed to hold a special call meeting for residents.

The latest draft agreement, called a memorandum of understanding, will be discussed April 6 at 7 p.m. at Miami Lakes Town Hall.

     “We’re putting forward something that the public can discuss and they can hear from the council about the decisions we’ve made,” Councilman Luis Collazo said March 30.

      It would be the second community forum for residents on the looming agreement with the county and Hialeah.

      There is ongoing litigation between Miami Lakes and the City of Hialeah, Miami-Dade County and Lennar Corp. and its contractor Downright Engineering about the bridge at Northwest 170th Street.

The town claims construction to connect the bridge to the east side of Northwest 170th Street was done without a permit on a section of the street that belongs to the town, per a road transfer agreement.  That span is one of the two closed bridges that cross Interstate 75 between Miami Lakes and Hialeah and Miami-Dade County.

        Hialeah and the county want the bridges, which are owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, open for traffic.  The county voted March 15 to urge FDOT to open the bridge at Northwest 154th Street.

     Previous versions of the MOU had the Northwest 170th Street bridge opening as soon possible and the southern span remaining closed for a decade.  Draft agreements also proposed that the Northwest 154th Street bridge could be opened if traffic relief improvements such as ramps to Interstate 75 were built.

     A sticking point in negotiations has been what kind of trucks would be allowed to travel from the industrial parks in the county and Hialeah on the west side of I-75 across the northern span into residential neighborhoods around Northwest 170th Street, and how that traffic would be controlled.   

      It's not yet known if those terms are in the latest MOU; the town had not released the document as of March 30.   Once the MOU is signed it will be shared with the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and the Hialeah City Council for approval.