Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday the early stages of an agreement with the city of Miami in which the state will put up $600 million to reconstruct the Interstate 395 overpass and bridge that connects the mainland to Watson Island and Miami Beach.
Speaking briefly at a Coalition of Miami-Dade Chambers function at PortMiami, the governor said construction could begin by 2018, but didn’t go into details on the project, referring to it only as a “signature bridge.”
Scott said the Florida Department of Transportation will seek funding to build the bridge from the Legislature, and listed a group of South Florida state lawmakers who support the initiative, including Sen. René García and Reps. Eddy Gonzalez and Manny Diaz.
“In partnership with the city of Miami we have developed a path forward in erecting the bridge,” Scott said.
Scott’s announcement comes on the heels of an agreement reached last week between Miami and the Florida Department of Transportation. In March, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff sued state transportation officials to stop them from considering a plain-vanilla plan for the new I-395 overpass. They argued FDOT’s stripped-down plan broke a public promise to build a dramatic suspension bridge, known as the Wishbone Arch, that would gain worldwide recognition.