Brightline and Miami-Dade County Break Ground on New Aventura Station
MIAMI – Today, Brightline and Miami-Dade County broke ground on the highly-anticipated Aventura Station located equidistance between MiamiCentral and Fort Lauderdale. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Chairman of the Transportation and Finance (TAF) Committee Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Miami-Dade County District 4 Commissioner Sally Heyman, Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman, Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works Director Alice N. Bravo, P.E., Javier A. Betancourt, Executive Director of the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (CITT), Jackie Soffer, Chairman and CEO of Turnberry, and Executive Vice President of Florida East Coast Industries Jose Gonzalez, were in attendance to mark the start of construction.
The station will be located adjacent to Aventura Mall on three acres at the 19800 block of West Dixie Highway and can be accessed from both West Dixie Highway and NE 26th Avenue. It includes the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the railroad right-of-way and Biscayne Boulevard, providing direct access to the mall and the Miami-Dade Transit Bus Terminal at Aventura Mall.
“I am thrilled to be breaking ground and beginning construction for the all-new Aventura station,” said Gimenez. “Working together with Brightline, we’re bringing rail to an area that’s not currently serviced by any public transit rail line and connecting residents and visitors to more opportunities, more places, and more possibilities.”
“A long-time necessity for Northeast Miami-Dade County, the Brightline Commuter rail stop at Aventura will provide much needed relief to road congestion and easy mobility for commuters to downtown Miami,” said Heyman.
“As Chairman of Transportation and Finance at the Board of County Commission, I am proud to participate in the groundbreaking of Brightline’s Aventura station, which will be a large asset going forward in Miami-Dade County’s goal for mobility and connectivity. With this development, we are enhancing ridership opportunities for the Northeast Corridor of the Miami SMART Plan. This new station will remove cars off the road, improve residents' quality of life, provide much-needed workforce housing, and create economic benefits for local businesses in Miami-Dade County,” Bovo said.
“Our Aventura Bus Terminal already acts as a regional hub for Metrobus riders,” said Bravo. “This future, multimodal station is an incredible opportunity to give our riders access to more transit options. Miami-Dade Transit riders will one day soon be able to get from Homestead to Aventura completely car-free, allowing our vision of making Miami-Dade County a car-optional community more of a reality.”
“Today’s event kicks off Brightline’s South Florida expansion and represents the benefits of the public and private sectors working together,” said Gonzalez. “The new Aventura station will create jobs, economic impact and provide reliable transit service throughout the northeast corridor.”
The Aventura station is approximately 17,500 feet that includes an 860-foot platform located inside the Florida East Coast Railway and Brightline right-of-way. The platform will be connected to the station with a pedestrian bridge spanning West Dixie Highway. The site includes 240 parking spaces, a bus drop-off for Miami-Dade Transit passengers, and newly landscaped and hardscape areas. Zyscovich is the architect of record, and construction will be managed by Lemartec. The station is expected to be completed by fall of 2021.
Brightline will provide express service during the peak morning and evening weekday travel periods, as well as hourly trips when service begins. Miami-Dade County will offer subsidized fares for a percentage of riders between Aventura and MiamiCentral. Trip time between downtown Miami and Aventura is expected to take 15 minutes.
The $76 million investment by Miami-Dade County will create more than 400 jobs during construction and generate significant economic benefit, including $90.8 million annually in economic impact and $2.7 billion over a 30-year period. Passenger rail will enhance the area’s quality of life and help to remove cars from congested roadways. Ridership studies show the station will support approximately 1.16 million one-way trips upon stabilization.
The CITT played an important and decisive role in the development of the Aventura station. In October 2019, the CITT passed a resolution recommending that the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approve the property acquisition and development agreement between the County and Brightline. It also approved the use of $76.7 million of surtax dollars for the development of this project, which will serve the Northeast Corridor – one of six corridors in the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan. The Aventura Station property acquisition and development is mostly being funded by surtax dollars. The CITT ensured that accessible transit fares for county residents and the station’s adaptability to be able to provide commuter rail service in the future.
The Aventura station will fit into Brightline’s existing rail system that now serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach with additional stations planned for Boca Raton and PortMiami. Brightline is also developing 170 miles of new track into the completed state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) as part of the company’s Phase 2 expansion into Central Florida. The expansion between Orlando and South Florida represents a total private investment of over $4 billion and is expected to be complete in late 2022.