City officials broke ground on what's been dubbed as "The Underline," a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and art destination that will run underneath the Metrorail from Brickell to Dadeland.
The Underline, modeled after New York's High Line and Atlanta's Beltway, will be a space for outdoor activities, art and restored green areas, with pedestrian and bike riding trails to promote Metrorail use and less driving.
"This is going to be under-utilized public space transformed into an incredibly utilized linear park," said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at Thursday's ground breaking. "For us, we feel we should be investing in the quality of life features so we can enjoy this marvelous city."
The Underline will be designed to serve both residents and visitors, with a dog park, playgrounds, recreational areas and gardens that will encompass 100 acres of open space.
The cost of total construction is expected at $120 million, city officials said. About $90 million has been secured so far from public funding.
"The trail is considered a transportation component; we also have park impact fees to build parks from the city of Miami and Coral Gables, so it's county, federal, state and municipal and it's truly the village that stepped up to support the project," said Meg Daly, founder of the Friends of The Underline.
The first phase of construction is expected to start early next year.