Tomorrow, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine will take the media on a tour of the Miami Beach Convention Center to show off the half-billion-dollar renovation the city mounted to expand and modernize the building.
The tour will, however, have to step carefully around huge swaths of water damage. According to a
It seems the city can't catch any breaks when it comes to renovating the center — construction delays have led residents to complain about the project for the last year, and the new damage won't help.
"There are locations at the Convention Center that have temporary roofing that
Berthier says the $450,000 price tag is just an estimate. The city's construction team is conducting a full damage assessment.
Berthier emphasizes that the damage came from rain seeping in through the roof, not from the heavy floods that swallowed the city last week. Floods overwhelmed Miami Beach's still-under-construction, $400 million anti-flooding pumps when rain fell at twice the rate the systems were designed to handle. All that water backed up onto streets, bridges, and highways, paralyzing the city and causing as-yet-undetermined damage to homes and businesses. Two pumps in Sunset Harbor even lost power for two hours (as the city had been warned would happen), causing Levine to demand backup generators.
While the multimillion-dollar drainage system did help to clear the water faster than would have happened without the pumps, some residents and business owners expressed frustration at the mayor. Many say the pumping system's capabilities were oversold, and that they believed the flood-mitigation project that taxpayers funded would have stopped this sort of thing. The city says just 15 percent of the island is covered by the
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The $600 million Beach Convention Center renovation project has repeatedly fallen behind schedule. Last year, rumors of delays terrified the art world, since the main Art Basel Miami Beach art fair is held at the complex each December. (After much consternation, the event went on
"The good news is that this did not affect any shows — nor will it — since the storm happened during a period of time between events," she said.