Bicyclists are invited to “Ride the Rickenbacker” in celebration of the completion of improvements to the Rickenbacker Causeway and on- and off-road bicycle lanes on Saturday, January 10, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., across from the Crandon Park Marina at the Bear Cut Preserve. Free parking will be available at Crandon Park until noon for bicyclists who choose to “drive to ride.”

Northbound traffic lanes will be closed from Crandon Park to the West Bridge from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Traffic will be re-routed to the southbound lanes. Following the 9:45 a.m. dedication ceremony with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez; County Manager George M. Burgess; representatives from the City of Miami and the Village of Key Biscayne; Miami-Dade County Public Works Director Esther Calas, P.E.; and Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Director Jack Kardys, cyclists will be able to ride the Rickenbacker Causeway “traffic-free” for three hours.

This event also celebrates the movement to make Miami-Dade County one of the pre-eminent cycling locations in the world. Working together, different county departments and cities, along with state and federal agencies are in the process of creating a web of bikeways and greenways that will provide cyclists with greater opportunities to move around the county. When fully built, the 500-plus miles of trails and bikeways will form a more livable and sustainable community and will include etiquette signs, interpretive signs, educational signs, mile markers, trail maps, and pedestrian directional signs.

“The bike lane project on the Rickenbacker Causeway, along with the lanes on Crandon Park and the Village of Key Biscayne, link five beautiful parks for everyone to enjoy. This is the essence and vision of Miami-Dade County’s Open Space Master Plan,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

The objective of the Rickenbacker Causeway road resurfacing and bicycle path improvement project was to create continuous bicycle lanes from the West Bridge to Key Biscayne and accommodate the volume of bicyclists that currently use the shoulder of this road. Today, in combination with the Village of Key Biscayne’s Crandon Boulevard project, these improvements have been accomplished with bicycle lanes from the mainland to Cape Florida State Park.

The resurfacing of the Rickenbacker Causeway and bike path was accomplished in three phases. The first phase of this project was from the east end of Bear Cut Bridge to the east entrance of the Crandon Marina, and consisted of milling and resurfacing the causeway and off-road bicycle path, widening at various intersections, pavement markings for roadway and delineation for future bicycle lanes. Construction of this portion of the facility was completed in July 2006.

Phase two of the project was from the west end of the Bear Cut Bridge to the east end of the William Powell Bridge. This phase consisted of the same improvements as phase one, and also included shoulder widening at various intersections. Construction of this portion of the facility was completed in July 2007.

Phase three of the project is from Brickell Avenue to the west end of the William Powell Bridge. The work included the same improvements as phases one and two, from west of the toll plaza of the east end of Hobie Island; and milling and resurfacing of the Bear Cut Bridge and the West Bridge (southern section). This project also included the installation of handrails for the William Powell Bridge, the Bear Cut Bridge and the West Bridge, the replacement of joints on the Bear Cut Bridge and the West Bridge (southern section). Improvements further included shoulder widening at various intersections, signing and pavement markings to include conversion of the shoulders to marked and signed bicycle lanes for the length of all three phases, minor sidewalk repair, construction of concrete path to connect bike lane to existing path, and upgrading of pedestrian signals. Construction of this portion of the facility was completed in December 2008.

“I look forward to participating in the ‘Ride the Rickenbacker’ ceremony. This project will improve safety and better accommodate the volume of cyclists who currently use the Rickenbacker. The improvements will bring Miami-Dade County one step closer to achieving its Open Space Master Plan vision that connects all parks, green spaces, and bikeways across the County. Our commitment is to provide a world class system of parks that connect 500-plus miles of trails and bikeways. This goal will make our community a more attractive one to live, work and play in,” said Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez, District 7.

“Reducing our carbon omissions by encouraging citizens to use dedicated bicycle lanes and pathways linked to our existing Transit rail, mover and bus service will lessen our impact on the environment while providing outstanding recreational experiences,” said Miami-Dade County Manager, George M. Burgess.

Miami-Dade Parks creates outstanding recreational, natural and cultural experiences to enrich you and to enhance our community for this and future generations.