New bridge for bikes & pedestrians going in at Cocoplum Circle
In the works since 2008, the Commodore Trail construction project will accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic crossing the Coral Gables Waterway at Cocoplum Circle in South Coral Gables and enhance public safety.
Instead of sharing the LeJeune Road bridge with vehicular traffic, runners, walkers and bicyclists will soon have their own safe crossing just east of LeJeune through the $715,000 project.
“The runners and cyclists I know are eager to use the new bridge at the circle. I think we’re going to like it a lot,” said John Hopkins, chairman and executive director of the Green Mobility Network. “It should make crossing the Gables Waterway easier and safer for all of us.”
A popular corridor for walkers and runners, the five-mile Commodore Trail links Wainwright Park, 2845 Brickell Ave. in Miami, with Cocoplum Circle (also known as Cartagena Plaza) in South Gables, where LeJeune, Sunset, Old Cutler and Cocoplum roads intersect.
After nearly four years in the planning stages, construction began in June 2012 and should be finished by the end of January 2013, according to the Miami-Dade Public Works and Waste Management Department. The bright red bridge – 162 feet long and 12 feet wide — was recently lowered into place.
In addition to the new bridge, there will also a new path connecting the bridge to a pathway along the perimeter of Ingraham Park. The project includes other improvements all along the Commodore Trail, such as resurfacing, some widening and new signs. There could be environmental benefits, too, according to the county.
“The bridge provides scenic infrastructure for alternate forms of transportation, such as bicycles and pedestrians, which will then reduce vehicle use, gas consumption and carbon emissions; therefore, improving air quality,” said Gayle R. Love, senior division director, public information and outreach division, Miami-Dade Public Works and Waste Management Department.