Dorn Avenue (SW 59 Avenue) is the brick-paved iconic entrance to the shopping & dining district of our town center, and when people talk about the charm of South Miami, Dorn Avenue certainly comes to mind.

Construction of Dorn Avenue took place in the mid-1990s as the demonstration project of the implementation of the Hometown Plan which was developed by a broadly participatory planning charette. South Miami resident Susan Redding organized a brick purchase campaign to help defray some of the expense of the construction. Names of donors line the sidewalks on Dorn Avenue. In recognition of this and her other community efforts a plaque was placed in the brick sidewalks. Designated historic buildings dating back to the 1920s frame the tree-lined street. Decorative lamps, imported from Italy and purchased by the Red/Sunset Merchants Association are hallmarks of the streetscape. The lamp became the signature symbol in the designation of South Miami Town Center and incorporated on the city’s website and the merchant association logo.

But when it rains, Dorn Avenue seems like the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney, as cars slosh through. In commenting on the initial construction and drainage with pavers on the street, one former city manager commented that the city likes to do things “on the cheap.” And so, we’ve had flooding for some while. The City was successful in lobbying for $120,000 line item in the 2013 State budget, however, it didn’t survive Governor Scott’s veto when he deleted $27,300,500 from state-wide projects.

Acutely aware of the needs to repair the street, a new city administration set about getting the job done. After months of planning and the competitive bid process, on May 14, 2014, the drainage project was begun. Prior to the start of the construction, senior members of the city administration visited each of the affected businesses to advise them of the imminent project start.

The cost is $84,697.50 and is being paid for from the Stormwater Trust Fund. The scope of work is to provide drainage improvements including: removal and reinstallation of brick pavers, removal of existing trench drain, installation of new French drains, excavation, concrete valley gutter, and 4 new drainage structures, pavement marking and signage and miscellaneous sidewalk paver repairs.
The anticipated completion date is thirty days after commencement: June 25, 2014.

Bring on the South Florida rainy season – we’re ready!

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