News

Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works has applied for a Federal BUILD grant for The Underline, Miami-Dade County’s Multimodal Mobility Corridor.  This is a competitive capital grant application through the U.S. Department of Transportation National Infrastructure Investments FY 2019 “BUILD Transportation Grants” Program.

The Underline is a 10-mile multimodal mobility corridor that repurposes 120 acres of underutilized land below Miami-Dade County’s above-ground heavy rail into an off-road biking and walking facility directly connected to transit and running alongside U.S.1, a major arterial.  When completed, it will serve as a first and last mile accessibility solution to 8 existing Metrorail stations with separated pedestrian and bicycle paths, improvements to 36 intersection crossings, of which 10 crossings are in the process of improvement and funding has been encumbered, a bridge over the Coral Gables Waterway, lighting and path-marking and wayfinding signage.  The Underline serves as a transportation solution, a safety strategy, and an economic catalyst.

Recognizing The Underline is Miami-Dade County’s most innovative and fastest-moving multimodal transportation project, the State of Florida, its municipalities and private developers have partnered with Miami-Dade County in committing an unprecedented over-77% ($76,475,388) for capital funding. This match funding has been raised over 4 years and demonstrates our community’s commitment to the Underline’s transformational potential. The grant ask amount represents 22.62% ($22,360,552) of the remaining unfunded costs in order to complete the project’s transportation component.

We would like to recognize the incredibly hard work and many hours invested in drafting the grant: Meg Daly, President/CEO Friends of The Underline, Daniel Balmori, Hogan Lovells and Irene Hegedus, Dept. of Transportation and Public Works.  And, a big thank you to those who wrote letters of support from the business and donor community as well as elected officials.

Find The Underline FY 2019 BUILD grant application here.

Find The Underline FY 2019 BUILD grant application Appendices here.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) continues construction of the first phase of The Underline – the Brickell Backyard. The Brickell Backyard project consists of a half-mile long segment below Metrorail that extends from the Miami River to SW 13th Street (Coral Way).

Construction is progressing according to schedule. As a safety requirement, construction fencing has has been erected between SW 1st Court and SW 1st Avenue, from the Miami River to SW 10th Street providing for a 5’ sidewalk for access by pedestrians and transit riders. The sidewalk width follows the Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) construction guidelines. Here is a breakdown of work taking place now, and of work that will be taking place in the construction area in the weeks to come:

Now through July 1st
1. Pedestrians are being routed with Longitudinal Channeling Devices (LCDs) to the roadway of SW 1st Court, where the new edge of pavement will be, once construction is completed. This area will then be tapered back to the bus bay area. In addition, the bus bay was shortened, and bus stops were relocated a little further north.
2. Fencing on SW 1st Court will be extended to 11th Street, and pedestrians will be detoured to the sidewalk on the west side of SW 1st Court.
3. Fencing also will be extended on SW 1st Avenue, now from 10th to 11 Street. Bus riders will still have access to bus shelters on SW 1st Avenue near the Brickell Metrorail station.
4. The east-west sidewalk, between SW 1st Court and SW 1st Avenue and south of the Brickell Metrorail station, will be eliminated.
Week of July 1st:
5. Switch fencing to construct the outer portion of the block between SW 9th and 10th streets. Pedestrians will be routed to the new sidewalk on the west side of the block. This phase will last approximately one month (scheduled to be completed the week of August 5th).

Week of August 5th
At this time, the contractor is scheduled to build the area in front of the Brickell Metrorail station. To ensure access to the Metrorail station, the sidewalks and plaza will be rebuilt in two sections. This phase will last approximately one week (scheduled to be completed the week of August 12th).

All scheduled dates are approximate and are subject to change due to weather conditions and/or unforeseen circumstances.

The Underline will enhance communities and improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety by providing new dedicated pedestrian and bicycle trails, an improvement of three signalized intersections, reconfiguration of bus bays at the bus patron seating areas Brickell Metrorail station, and enhanced lighting and landscaping.

The Brickell Backyard project is scheduled to be complete in June 2020 and will have a number of amenities that include:
An outdoor gym area with a basketball court and gym equipment with space for group exercise classes
An outdoor stage for concerts, movies, yoga and other group activities
An outdoor dining area and gaming tables
A dog friendly area, butterfly gardens, public art and more

Your patience is appreciated as Miami-Dade County and Friends of The Underline work to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail system into a 10-mile linear park, world-class urban trail and living art destination that will also serve as an anchor for smart development.

For general information about The Underline, please visit: www.theunderline.org and/or https://www8.miamidade.gov/global/transportation/the-underline.page .

Should you have any questions about this upcoming work, or have any concerns you would like to share with us, please contact me, Karla Damian, DTPW Public Information Officer, at 786-469-5420, or via email at: karla.damian@miamidade.gov .

A new and exciting update from Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works, The Underline Brickell Backyard construction is on schedule! Safety fencing is being erected near the Brickell Metrorail Station, the site of The Underline Brickell Backyard’s Promenade. With opening scheduled for June 2020, we are eager to walk, bike, play with you surrounded by native vegetation, butterfly gardens, basketball court, mini pitch soccer and the best dog parks in town.

Please see the full report below:

The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) has begun work on the first phase of The Underline – the Brickell Backyard. The Brickell Backyard project consists of a half-mile long segment below Metrorail that extends from the Miami River to SW l31h Street (Coral Way).

Construction is progressing according to schedule. As part of safety, a construction fence will be erected between SW 1st Court and SW 1st Avenue, from SW 91h Street to SW 101h Street providing for a 5′ sidewalk for access by pedestrians and transit riders. The sidewalk width follows the Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FOOT) construction guidelines. Please see attached photos. ·

During the remainder of construction, the existing concrete seat wall will not be accessible. This wall will be removed during construction_ To mitigate this inconvenience to transit riders, DTPW is working with the City of Miami to identify temporary bus benches that can be installed to allow for seating while still complying with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) path clearances. The bus stop signs will be relocated and attached to the fence.

This past month, the contractor began installing the construction fence on the north end of this area and will continue the installation during the next three to four weeks. The Department will make the proper notifications to transit riders in coordination with the City of Miami and the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) office.

Here is a breakdown of other work that will be taking place in the construction area in the weeks to come:

Week of April 8th:

o    Fencing will be extended on the west side ofSW First Avenue, between SW gth and h streets, to include 9 parking spots. This will allow for the installation of required deep injection wells_ Pedestrians will be routed to the east side of 151 Avenue, using crossings at SW gth Street and SW 9th Street. This phase will last approximately two months (scheduled to be completed the week of June 10th).

o    Fencing will be erected within the inner portion of the area between SW 9th and 10th streets, along both SW 1st Court and SW 1st Avenue to construct inner portion of the block. A 5′ sidewalk will be maintained for pedestrians along the perimeter. The west/east crosswalk in the middle of the block will be closed. Phase will last one month. (Scheduled to be completed the week of May 6th).

Week of May 6th:

o Pedestrians will be routed with Longitudinal Channeling Devices (LCDs) to the roadway of SW First Court, where the new edge of pavement will be, once construction is completed. This area will then be tapered back to the bus bay area. In addition, the bus bay will be shortened; therefore, two bus stops will need to be relocated. The Department will update information regarding bus relocations once that information is available. This phase will last approximately one-and-a-half to two months (scheduled to be completed the week of July 1st).

Week of July 1st:

o    Switch fencing to construct the outer portion of both SW First Avenue and SW First Court, between SW 9th and 10th streets. Pedestrians will be routed to the new sidewalk on the east side of SW First Court. A pathway also will be open for pedestrians on the west side of SW First Avenue. This phase will last approximately one month (scheduled to be completed the week of August 5th).

Week of August 5th:

o    At this time, the contractor is scheduled to build the area in front of the Brickell Metrorail station. To ensure access to the Metrorail station, the sidewalks and plaza will be rebuilt in two sections. This phase will last approximately one week (scheduled to be completed the week of August 12th).

All scheduled dates are approximate and are subject to change due to weather conditions and/or unforeseen circumstances.

The Underline will enhance communities and improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety by providing new dedicated pedestrian and bicycle trails, an improvement of three signalized intersections, reconfiguration ofbus bays at the bus patron seating areas Brickell Metrorail station, and enhanced lighting and landscaping.

The Brickell Backyard project also will bring a number of amenities that include:

  • An outdoor gym area with a basketball court and gym equipment with space for group exercise classes
  • An outdoor stage for concerts, movies, yoga and other group activities
  • An outdoor dining area and gaming tables
  • A dog friendly area, butterfly gardens, public art and more

The project is anticipated to be completed in June 2020.

Your patience is appreciated as Miami-Dade County and Friends of The Underline work to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail system into a 10-mile linear park, world-class urban trail and living art destination that will also serve as an anchor for smart development.

A recent article in Time Magazine discusses the many benefits of being in a park – even without exercise!

Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. It’s been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, while encouraging physical activity and buoying mood and mental health. Some research even suggests that green space is associated with a lower risk of developing psychiatric disorders — all findings that doctors are increasingly taking seriously and relaying to their patients.

Now, a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research adds to the evidence and shows just how little time it takes to get the benefits of being outside. Spending just 20 minutes in a park — even if you don’t exercise while you’re there — is enough to improve well-being, according to the research.

Read more here.

Javier Betancourt, Executive Director of the Citizen’s Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) shares his story of biking to work as a way to get fit, support the environment and being car free.

“This past Friday, March 1, marked Bike305’s Bike to Work Day in Miami. On that day one year ago, I rode my bike to work for the first time alongside hundreds of other commuters, a practice I have managed to maintain for 365 days and counting.

What at first began as a simple effort to lead by example by practicing what I preach as an urban planner and advocate for alternative transportation quickly became a transformative lifestyle change. Much to my surprise, I began to enjoy, and actually prefer, riding my bike to work; so much so, that halfway into the year, I got rid of my car for good.

And the benefits have been enormous! I’m saving a ton of money – upward of $600 a month – on transportation expenses; I’m in the best shape of my adult life; my stress levels are down significantly, I feel more in tun with the world around me; and I can take price in knowing that I am doing my part for the environment.

Please read the rest of the op-ed in Miami Today online.   Thanks Javier for sharing your story of how one person can make a difference!

Walking in Florida? You could be risking your life! Today’s Miami Herald exposes the dangers of walking in Florida and in Miami. Why is it so dangerous to walk here? According to Dangerous by Design, “What is happening is that our streets, which we designed for the movement of vehicles, haven’t changed. In fact, we are continuing to design streets that are dangerous for all people.”
Please support projects like the 10-mile Underline that give safe, off-road walking and pedestrian access for people of all ages and abilities. Volunteer, support or advocate for The Underline by clicking here!

The Underline, which broke ground today, combines green public space with paths that connect to transit stations, fully separated from the adjacent street, where 100,000 cars drive by each day. (The plan was a finalist in the Fast Company 2017 World Changing Ideas Award.)

“Miami-Dade County is one of the most dangerous places to walk and bike in the country,” says Meg Daly, who started a nonprofit to champion the project after walking under the rail line–a dimly lit, dirty, unwelcoming area, surrounded by heavy traffic and hard-to-cross streets–and seeing its potential. “We’re not just moving in our cars because we’re car-centric, we’re in our cars because we feel safer.”

Check out this “3-minute read” here.

Miami Herald writer Andres Viglucci provides a comprehensive account of The Underline’s progress, people and plan leading up to the groundbreaking of Phase 1: Brickell Backyard on Thursday, November 1st. 

It took 20 years for Meg Daly’s late father, the prominent attorney Parker Thomson, to realize his ambition of a transformative performing arts center in Miami.

It may not take Daly and her ad-hoc team of volunteers, dreamers and entrepreneurs quite that long to pull off her own unlikely conceit: a 10-mile-long park and walking and cycling trail that aims to regenerate an overlooked swath of Miami in the same way the heralded High Line did along lower Manhattan.

But she’s having to tap into every bit of that reserve of Thomson family grit to get it done.
On Thursday, a contractor is scheduled to break ground on the first phase of the much-anticipated Underline, which will eventually extend from downtown Miami to Dadeland under the Metrorail’s elevated tracks. That initial segment, in the booming Brickell district, is just seven blocks and a half-mile long.

But moving from conception to construction in five years is a flash for a civic project in Miami. At least two more segments, one along Miami’s The Roads section and another in Coral Gables, will follow in short order. And no matter what it takes, Daly says, she is determined to see the Underline all the way through to completion in the same unflagging spirit her father instilled in her.

Thomson, who died suddenly last year at 85, not only helped usher the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts into existence, but also was Daly’s earliest champion when she was struck by the inspiration for the Underline, an idea she at first feared might be a non-starter.

“I had what I call this crazy idea. My Dad was the second person I told after my husband”, recalled Daly, a marketing executive who had never tackled anything of the kind. “He’s always been one of the greatest sounding boards. And he said, ‘I don’t think it’s crazy. I think it’s a great idea.’ ”

Read the rest of this comprehensive coverage here.

This thorough, thoughtful, well-researched piece by Patrick Sisson’s CURBED, illustrates how The 10-mile Underline, a $120 million transit corridor and public space project is poised to change how the city moves.

Daly’s story illustrates the philosophy behind, and potential of, one of Miami and the nation’s most intriguing park projects. The 10-mile linear park, a $120 million redevelopment of open space under a span of Metrorail tracks roughly parallel to the north end of the Miami River, will link the condos, coworking spaces, and tech offices of the booming Brickell neighborhood with South Miami, in a bid to be a catalyst for community, connection, and safer transit.

The groundbreaking on the project’s first half-mile phase next month, which will begin construction of the so-called Brickell Backyard portion of the Underline, comes after five years of promotion, proposals, and fundraising.

Daly, a full-time volunteer who has shepherded the project forward, hopes this represents both the beginning of a transformational infrastructure project, as well as a shift in the planning philosophy for Miami-Dade County, a “very big gesture to rethinking how we rebuild infrastructure and transit.”

Read the complete article here.

At the Underline Launch Party at SLS Lux Brickell on Thursday, October 18th, Friends of The Underline Board of Directors hosted a rocking celebration in advance of the project’s groundbreaking on November 1.  Philanthropists and luminaries gathered in the hotel’s Secret Garden, a lush, covered outdoor pool and garden on the 9th floor with breathtaking views of the Brickell skyline. The evening kicked off with a live, private concert by Friends of The Underline board member Emily Estefan, followed by project status comments by Founder Meg Daly. Brian Keeley of Baptist Health South Florida spoke at the hospital networks sponsorship of The Underline’s wellness programming. The evening culminated with the recognition of the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation’s investment in city-building initiatives like The Underline and closing remarks by Knight Foundation CEO Alberto Ibarguen.Catch CBS 4 Lisa Petrillo’ segment as she shares the excitement here.