Eight years after being approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission, the much-anticipated construction of the U.S. 1 pedestrian overpass next to the University Metrorail station is set to begin April 23.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the University Metrorail station, across Ponce de Leon Boulevard from the University of Miami campus.
According to a report by The Miami Hurricane in 2013, eight University of Miami students had been killed or seriously injured trying to cross the six-lane highway since 1989. The UM community has awaited the overpass’ construction for years, and it finally seems that safe passage across US 1 isn’t far away.
Jorge Gonzalez, president of ABC Construction, the company that will be constructing the overpass, said the project would ideally be completed in a year. While he expects some obstacles such as traffic on U.S. 1 and night work, he said they expect to have it completed in their time frame.
They will be forced to shut down the six-lane highway at some points during the construction, which may increase traffic in the area.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be great. People will be able to go back and forth safely. People go down U.S.1 at 70 miles an hour,” Gonzalez said.
The bridge will have two towers with elevators and staircases in each. Gonzalez said one tower on the west side of U.S. 1 will force them to move one of the traffic light polls and take out a piece of sidewalk. A fence will also be placed next to the highway, preventing pedestrians from bypassing the overpass.
The bridge has a nice architectural design, according to Gonzalez, and will be covered with a roof as well. But those who cross the highway often will be happy to have a safe way of crossing.
Correction: The story originally stated that the construction is “set to begin on Tuesday.” The correct date is Thursday, April 23.