DORAL, FL – Miami-Dade approved contract for a monorail of up to $14 million with Genting Group and Meridiam Infrastructure North America Corp. to study the possibility of building a monorail between the city of Miami and Miami Beach.
The monorail would take between a year to 18 months to be build, according to South Florida Real Estate News, the Real Deal.
Miami-Dade approved contract for a monorail after County Commission passed it by a vote of 10 to 2, with commissioners Xavier Suarez and Rebeca Sosa taking a stand against it.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez took a neutral stand and did not offer a recommendation on passing or rejecting the item, as reported by the media.
The commission would vote on a final plan and contract (the current one is interim) after the preliminary study is completed, according to a spokesperson for the project.
During the interim agreement that could last 18 months, engineers will consult with officials from Miami, Miami Beach and the county.
For commissioner Esteban Bovo, the project was seen as a “baby step” that could later lead to advance with a larger $586.5 million agreement with MDM Partners LLC (led by Meridian and Genting) to build a monorail system across the MacArthur Causeway.
The first steps toward the recently approved agreement were taken last year when Mayor Gimenez and Genting executives met in Hong Kong following an unsolicited proposal to build the monorail from the part of Genting.
Later, requests for proposals were accepted resulting in Genting being the only bidder. But the item didn’t move forward for a while after the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission and the Office of the Inspector General produced reports on Gimenez’s meeting with Genting executives in 2018.
Commission Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson told the media that the city has been talking about a rail connection between Miami and Miami Beach for decades. “I am feeling that here we go again, kicking the can down the road,” Edmonson said.