CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Coral Gables calls itself “The City Beautiful.” But right now, a couple of major streets aren’t living up to that name.READ MORE: Zoo Miami Helps Discover A Brand New Spider Species In Miami
A multi-million dollar makeover may take downtown Gables to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the growing pains may be too much to handle for some businesses.
It’s been mighty quiet on Giralda Avenue.
The popular restaurant district of Coral Gables has – according to merchants, bar and resturant owners – all but ground to a halt.
“Miracle Mile too,” said Miguel Taurz. “It’s a mess… you know what with construction work.”
The Coral Gables Streetscape Project – a $21 million revamp for the Gables’ Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue – was slated to take 18 months to complete, with April 1, 2017 the promised completion date.
But the folks along Giralda were told their project would be completed by November 2016. Yet, the reality is that the entire block is way behind the promised schedule.READ MORE: Hialeah Gardens Bus Stop Shooting, 1 Dead, 2 Injured
“They will be here and get a bunch done for 10 days and then they will disappear again,” said Lisa Nurenberg.
A man, who only identified himself as Sergio, said, “Every day is a nightmare, for us and for everybody.”
And the nightmare is in part self-induced because business owners, some who are now laying off workers, are funding a good portion of the cost.
“It is a great project. It is a little bit more than we expected. Once completed it will be great,” said Kiki Garcia.
So why the delay? CBS4’s Hank Tester was told it goes way back.
“Looking back, the original project manager for the contractor really over promised on the schedule,” said Javier Betancourt. “What the contract does not do is spell out is a specific date for Giralda.”
The city is trying to pressure the contractor, but CBS4 has learned that the contract really has an end date of December of 2017.MORE NEWS: Vaccination Sites Ready For Influx After Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused
“We have outside counsel involved, pressing the city’s rights in this matter,” Betancourt said.