Public Space Under I-395 to be Called the Reverend Edward T. Graham Greenway

The Underdeck, now to be called the Reverend Edward T. Graham Greenway, will sit under the highway that divided Overtown decades ago. (Ivan Curra/Wikimedia Commons)
The Underdeck, now to be called the Reverend Edward T. Graham Greenway, will sit under the highway that divided Overtown decades ago. (Ivan Curra/Wikimedia Commons)

The 33-acre public space to be built underneath a reconstructed I-395, once known as the Underdeck, will be officially named the Rev. Edward T. Graham Greenway, after the one-time Mt. Zion Baptist Church pastor and civil rights activist.

The naming has been in the hands of Miami commissioners since December 2022, but a final vote on the subject only happened last week.

Interestingly, the name voted on was not among those suggested by an Underdeck committee, composed of community members and lead stakeholders that were charged with developing recommendations for the space’s design, operation and funding strategies.

Finding a name to represent the former Underdeck had long been a point of contention for Overtown residents, whose neighborhood was ripped apart by the very highway in question decades ago. For them, the new development poses an opportunity to enforce their legacy and right an old wrong.

As such, the recommended name sent to the city commission to consider was “Overtown Miami Greenway” with a tagline that read “The Heart of the City.”

The name was narrowed down several times over because of continued public surveys and community meetings, led toward the end of the process by Jacober Creative, a consulting agency that was hired by the committee to generate the final recommendation.

“Overtown Miami Greenway” beat out other potential names that nearly made it to the homestretch, such as “Heart: From Overtown to the Bay” or “Miami Overtown Downtown Mile.”

The chosen name, which could have been abbreviated to “OMG,” fulfilled one recurring wish: that it makes mention of Overtown. According to Jacober Creative’s final report, the name is also attractive in that it alludes to shaded green space, which is preferred over the concrete pathways that currently plague predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods like Overtown.

The currently proposed design for the space shows a one-mile landscape beginning in Overtown near Gibson Park and extending to Biscayne Bay.

The Underdeck committee submitted a 443-page report to the city manager at the tail end of 2022, which represented the culmination of more than a year’s worth of work. The report pushed for community involvement even beyond the initial planning stages, advocating for economic opportunities on behalf of local businesses and artists, and outlined environmental concerns. It is still functioning independently as an advocacy group with a website at

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which is for now the leading entity in charge of bringing the project to fruition, has agreed to cover 30% of the cost. The city of Miami, to which FDOT has delegated the operational responsibilities, will pay 20% of the cost.

The last time The Miami Times reported on the project’s progress, the committee was trying to secure the remaining half of its cost with federal dollars requested through the Reconnecting Communities Grant.

But the committee’s report admitted that $26.5 million is a big ask and the city may only receive partial funding, if any. The report outlined other potential sources to cope with that risk, which include CRA money, help from the Miami-Dade County budget, or state or federal funding.

The committee reportedly needed to secure the necessary funding this year when construction was slated to begin.

Article first appeared via link below:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *