Article Courtesy of Miami
By Catherine Lackner
Published May 5, 2019
There could be some good news for Baywalk, the planned 5.7-mile pedestrian- and
bicycle-friendly promenade that will hug Biscayne Bay and the Miami River. The
Florida Legislature included $300,000 for the project in its 2019-2020 budget,
said Elena Bondarenko, Downtown Development Authority team leader for government
“It’s pretty great,” she said. “It’s now
a matter of not getting vetoed” by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“The City of Miami has a $5 million ask for stormwater
mitigation funds, and the city manager has been up [in
Tallahassee],” said Ken Russell, authority chair and Miami
If the city’s appeal is successful, some of the money could
be diverted to Baywalk. The walkway’s future, and funding
efforts, should be tied to sustainability, Mr. Russell has
said. “The front message has to be resiliency, and we have
to use the right vocabulary.”
Baywalk, an authority project for several years, has been
steadily moving forward. In January, Neal Schafers,
authority staff member on the urban design & capital
improvements team, told authority directors that the path
through the First Miami Presbyterian Church property at 609
Brickell Ave., was set to move forward.
That left only six missing connections along the entire
path, which runs from Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater to Brickell Bay Drive
in Brickell, an authority document pointed out then. Though Miami has
offered to indemnify owners in return for the right to route the path
through their properties, some have been reluctant. At some sites, like the
space under the MacArthur Causeway overpass, there are engineering issues.
If a deal among the authority, the City of Miami, and the Super Bowl 2020
Host Committee goes through, the portion of the Baywalk along Bayfront and
Maurice A. Ferré parks may be illuminated with LED lights by next February,
in time for the big game.
“We’ve been seeking statements of support from homeowners’ associations, to
make it as veto-proof as possible,” Alyce Robertson, authority executive
director, said Friday of this latest attempt to get funding.