Go big or go home. That's the approach being taken by James Corner Field Operations, co-designers of Manhattan's High Line, in carrying out the audacious proposed plan estimated to cost $120 million for Underline to drape 10 miles of the Miami-Dade metrorail route along South Dixie Highway.
The plan was formally presented on Wednesday to Underline supporters. Whereas today the community is lucky to find a paved sidewalk along most stretches of the path, the vision calls for dramatic enhancements that, if executed, will transform the barren route into a recreational eden, booming with the likes of gardens, dog parks, workout stations, sports courts, a skateboard rink that can be converted into an event space and food kiosks run by solar energy. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, along with county agencies and the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, and South Miami, are in full support of the project.
A chunk of the cost in fulfilling the 400-page vision is heightened by the 36 roadway intersections, where the plan calls for pedestrian and bike bridges over five of them with at least minor modifications to the rest, adding up to an estimated expense of $20 million. They plan to use the $5 million received in government grants to begin Underline's "Demonstration Phase" next year, starting with a three-quarter mile stretch in Brickell that would feature amenities like picnic areas, a dog park, an outdoor gym, a play area and even a climbing wall. Funding Underline has already had its challenges, as Governor Rick Scott vetoed an additional $2 million approved by the state legislature. Corporate support and sponsorships will be key.
The final public meeting for the Underline plan is set for 6 p.m. Monday at the University of Miami's School of Architecture Glasgow Hall, located at 1223 Theo Dickinson Dr. in Coral Gables. You can RSVP for free at Eventbrite.
· Big Plans Unveiled For Proposed Underline Path [Miami Herald]
· High Line [Curbed NY]
· Underline Vision [The Underline]
· Rick Scott Vetoes Underline Funding [The Real Deal]