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Miami Herald - 10/31/03
Metrorail extension is rolling along
A rail line from the MLK
station north to the Broward County line along Northwest 27th Avenue could be completed
between 2009 and 2011
By Draeger Martinez
Efforts to create an elevated Metrorail extension between Liberty City and the Broward
County line are moving forward, officials said Monday. The North Corridor Citizens
Advisory Committee unveiled a revised route for the $800 million extension with
completion targeted between 2009 to 2011.
''If we get the necessary approvals and funding, we could start building it between
late 2006 and mid-2008, with construction estimated to take at least 2 ½
years,'' Miami-Dade Transit Project Manager Mario García said at the meeting,
which took place at Miami Dade College's North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave.
''We need to acquire some parcels, and handling the legal questions and design issues
will take some time,'' he said, ``but hopefully we can ride the line up to Pro Player
Stadium no later than 2011, and it will be there for our children and grandchildren.''
García said the project calls for rail stops about every mile along the 9.6-mile
line, which is planned to run through West Little River, Opa-locka and Miami Gardens
to the edge of the Broward line.
In 1999, transit officials first proposed building a Metrorail line running roughly
parallel to Northwest 27th Avenue. The line would start at the existing MLK station
near Northwest 62nd Street and would include new stations roughly at:
Northwest 82nd Street, near the Northside Shopping Center
Northwest 103rd Street
Northwest 119th Street near Miami Dade College's North Campus
Ali Baba Avenue in Opa-locka
Northwest 166th Street near the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826)
Northwest 183rd Street in Miami Gardens
Northwest 199th Street near Pro Player Stadium, also in Miami Gardens
Northwest 214th Street near County Line Road.
In addition, the stations for Ali Baba Avenue and for Northwest 119th, 166th, 183rd
and 214th streets would have adjacent park-and-ride lots.
The plan had been stalled for several years but was revised a year ago when Miami-Dade
voters approved a half-cent sales tax to pay for county transit projects. Clinton
Forbes, an assistant to Miami-Dade Transit Director Danny Alvarez, said the department
expects half-cent tax proceeds and state and federal matching grants to fully fund
Mary Alice Brown, a former chair of the advisory committee, said she's glad the
project will move forward.
''My heart is overflowing right now,'' Brown said at the meeting. ``When the 1999
transit tax effort failed, I thought this dream was dead. But now we're back in
business, and I can't wait to ride the new train.''