For months now, the City Beautiful has been the city plagued by some truly nasty construction delays. But this week the ambitious renovation of Miracle Mile finally comes to an end.
Construction began in July 2016 and aimed to give Gables' main downtown strip new life. “This has been a priority for the city going back decades,” says Javier Betancourt, the city’s director of economic development.
The project has given a face-lift to the stretch of Miracle Mile that runs from Le Jeune Road to Douglas Road, plus it tackled an antiquated chunk of Giralda Avenue, transforming it into a plaza ripe for outdoor dining and concerts (which it has already seen plenty of since its completion). In addition to replacing the outdated drainage system and cracked pavement, the city aimed to make Miracle Mile more pedestrian-friendly. “We wanted to introduce more walkability, more outdoor dining,” says Betancourt.
Wider sidewalks and an increase in shaded areas came at the expense of parking spots, as Miracle Mile’s angled metered parking was replaced with parallel spots needed to accommodate the improvements. But Betancourt says the city has been able to partner with the free ride-share app Freebee, which has a fleet of electric cars that can give you a lift anywhere in downtown Coral Gables, as well as private lots (which are typically more expensive) to expand its public-parking options.
The city will celebrate the official end of the renovation this Saturday, April 14, with a free block party from 5:30pm to 9pm. There will be live music, entertainment and—thankfully—not an orange construction cone in sight.
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