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Is it safe to assume that the land Mt. Sinai Hospital and the I-195 interchange sits on was underwater and part of Biscayne Bay before I-195's construction, and is as artificial as the causeway itself? Or was it originally a military base, landfill, or something similar that ended up getting repurposed at some point between 1920 and 1970?

On a related note, does anybody know what current laws actually have to say about land reclamation? For instance, if a Metrorail line were proposed that ran along the site's outer perimeter, would enlarging the island by 30 feet in lieu of taking 30 feet by eminent domain just be a matter of civil engineering and money, or do current environmental laws make it hard/nearly impossible to casually enlarge already-existing artificial islands? I know that just about every island off Miami's coast is artificial to some extent, and that the Port of Miami itself sits on a big island that was actually two separate islands less than a decade ago (Dodge & Lummus, I believe), but I know that the federal government is now incredibly neurotic about allowing wetland alteration (in fact, that's why 836's widening between Le Jeune and 826 has been so awkward and taken so many years... MDX can only increase it by some fixed percentage over a sliding window of time without triggering an avalanche of new environmental regulations that would force them to demolish and rebuild the entire road at insane cost, even though the alleged wetlands it sits on were themselves created by the Army Corps of Engineers ~50 years ago).
 

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Is it safe to assume that the land Mt. Sinai Hospital and the I-195 interchange sits on was underwater and part of Biscayne Bay before I-195's construction, and is as artificial as the causeway itself? Or was it originally a military base, landfill, or something similar that ended up getting repurposed at some point between 1920 and 1970?
The first part probably not. What we know as Biscayne Bay was dredged mangroves, but the Mt. Sinai land was likely pretty firm. I've seen some pictures taken from WWI time where that land was utilized for several Polo fields. Today, the Mt. Sinai land is the largest privately owned parcel in the City of Miami Beach. #2 is Fountainbleau, and #3 is Flamingo.

You are dead on about the difficulty in adding more islands or even a little land. It is painful to even add the pilings necessary for boat docks. DERM complicates things dramatically. The Island Garden project had to methodically dig up the plant life on the bottom of the bay, and replant it somewhere else in the Bay.
 

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The first part probably not. What we know as Biscayne Bay was dredged mangroves, but the Mt. Sinai land was likely pretty firm. I've seen some pictures taken from WWI time where that land was utilized for several Polo fields. Today, the Mt. Sinai land is the largest privately owned parcel in the City of Miami Beach. #2 is Fountainbleau, and #3 is Flamingo.

You are dead on about the difficulty in adding more islands or even a little land. It is painful to even add the pilings necessary for boat docks. DERM complicates things dramatically. The Island Garden project had to methodically dig up the plant life on the bottom of the bay, and replant it somewhere else in the Bay.
Is that responsible for the hold up at Island Gardens?? This gem won't fall through will it???
 

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Is that responsible for the hold up at Island Gardens?? This gem won't fall through will it???
No...it did hold it up for about 4 years during all the permiting/mitigation, but they are full speed ahead now...
 

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I think it will be a shocking "bridging" feature for Miami and Miami Beach

The design is very strong, although not earth shaking, but the site will set this apart from anything I can think of around the country.
 
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