In anticipation of the upcoming virtual public meeting by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava regarding the Value for Money (VfM) report on the proposed privatization of Rickenbacker Causeway, Village of Key Biscayne Manager Steve Williamson addresses the Village’s expectations regarding the process and invites resident to participate in the meeting.
Rickenbacker Causeway... just the name conjures up images of beauty, excitement and a scenic journey to an island paradise which offers county residents and visitors access to some of the County and State’s best parks and beaches. For the residents of Key Biscayne, it is all the above plus the one and only entrance to our homes.
As your Village Manager, I want to update you on what your Council, County officials and quite frankly, many of you, have done to address our collective concerns about the current plan to redevelop the Causeway.
Two months ago, on September 30, 2021, the Village Council adopted a resolution requesting that the County Mayor and/or the Board of County Commissioners immediately rescind the current request for proposal (RFP) and begin a new collaborative public process with all stakeholders to address the infrastructure project. Since then, our Councilmembers have been voicing their concerns about the project approach and expressing the Village’s interests in immediately making the necessary Causeway repairs and improvements in a collaborative and requirements-driven approach. The Key Biscayne Police Department has increased its patrolling of the Causeway and continues to work closely with the Miami-Dade and School District Police Departments to improve safety at the MAST Academy intersection. Over this same period of time, you’ve also read many news articles, attended community meetings, council meetings, Board of County Commissioners Meetings and even seen the Venetian Causeway portion removed from the project. All these events and more helped our County Mayor to ask for a value for money assessment on the RFP. The financial assessment was completed in November, and it resulted in Mayor Levine Cava issuing an official memorandum summarizing the report and offering an option to cancel the procurement and restart a new
and iterative process. Soon after, on November 23, County Commissioner Regalado released a memorandum stating that after “reviewing the facts and feedback that have brought us to this point in time, my request is to cancel this procurement and start over.” She called for a refresh of the process and further encouraged Mayor Levine Cava to create a working group of key stakeholders to flesh out the priorities and develop a detailed survey of all elements to be considered for the project, with the most critical being the replacement of Bear Cut Bridge.
On the eve of Mayor Levine Cava’s public meeting on December 6, it is now our opportunity to show our appreciation to our County Mayor and our District Commissioner for their thoughtful and deliberate assessment of the project, its process and the value for money assessment. On Monday, let’s give them both the respect they deserve as well as clearly express the reasons why the community believes the entire process should be refreshed. Let’s explain our interests in starting anew, addressing the most critical infrastructure first, seeking federal funding support, and creating a key stakeholder working group with the Village of Key Biscayne as a principal member. In the end, I believe most of the community wants to see a new path forward that leads to competition, creativity, community input and the best solutions for the residents of Miami-Dade County and Key Biscayne.
The public meeting will take place Monday, December 6 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and registration is required to participate in the meeting. To register, click here.
For an copy of the Value for Money report, click here