San Amaro construction nearly complete

The annoyance of taking a detour to avoid the construction on San Amaro Drive is nearly a thing of the past.
“I think it is a bit delayed,” said Janet Gavarrete, University Campus Planner. “But it’s all normal, typical construction delays.”
Poor weather and the chore of maintaining the traffic flow were the main reasons for construction setbacks, Gavarrete said.
“[The construction] hasn’t been delayed significantly though,” said Gavarrete.
The project, which was originally slated for completion in January, has been pushed back until mid-February, said a city consultant.
“They better finish it soon,” said student Jamie Rosler, “because it’s quite an obstruction in my daily travels.”
Regardless of the slight postponement, which accompanies virtually any project of this nature, the end result will be well worth the wait, said Gavarrete.
“We beautify and enhance our University edge,” said Gavarrete.
Speeding along San Amaro Drive was the main safety concern and reason for the renovation, said Gavarrete.
When the project is complete, it will offer sidewalks, lighting, medians, crosswalks, improved signs, a traffic circle, landscaping and irrigation.
“The improvements are meant to slow traffic through residential areas and provide a safer mode of travel through the area,” said Gavarrete.
The new road layout-including a large traffic circle and tighter, narrower turns-is strategically designed to slow traffic.
The improvements were decided upon after numerous meetings between the University and the Community Relations Committee also known as the “Town and Gown,” said Gavarrete.
“It’s not going to slow people down,” said skeptical student, Israel Andrews. “They’re still going to want to go fast through those curves and if one of their tires goes up on a curb it’s going to flip their car.
“The best way to slow people down out there would be to put a cop in the middle of the road,” Andrews said.
The University of Miami funded the $1,030,000 plan, but the project is officially headed by the city of Coral Gables, Gavarrete said.
“As a condition of passing the University’s Master Plan Amendment in 1998, the city required the University to fund the improvements.
“But the University went ahead on their own volition to add a lot more,” Gavarrete said.