If you’re a Miami resident, especially if you drive, just hearing the word “construction” is enough to have you running in the opposite direction.
For many South Florida drivers, road construction has been the norm since the moment they got behind the wheel. The Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) has been under construction for longer than most people care to think about, with completion scheduled for 2015; U.S. 1 frequently closes its lanes – as if its traffic isn’t already a nightmare. Miami drivers already have a reputation for being reckless and the congestion caused by road construction only makes things worse.
Sometimes it seems like a ton of money is being spent on projects that are not getting anything accomplished. Miami-Dade County is the site of about 40 ongoing construction projects, including roads, bridges and tunnels. There are countless lists and figures on new building projects to accommodate a rising population. However, when people don’t have money to spend, it seems ridiculous to be paying for new traffic circles in residential areas.
Construction can be a pain even here on campus, but the new Student Activity Center is an exception, showing that construction can in fact be beneficial. We might have to walk the long way around the lake for two years, but when the dirt clears and the trucks depart, we’ll be left with a new facility. Instead of borrowing Sun Life Stadium from the Dolphins, the Marlins will soon have a high-tech baseball stadium to play in; Downtown Coral Gables will open luxury condominiums; CitiCentre, a new urban neighborhood of Brickell high rises, will change the Miami skyline. Although construction might be a pain now, it is merely a temporary inconvenience that will prove beneficial in the long run.
And when the roads are finished, there will hopefully be less traffic and fewer headaches. We can dream, right?
Things have to get worse before they can get better. Miami has new things on the horizon; in the meantime, we just have to approach the continual construction with a “no pain, no gain” mentality.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.