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Forget taking the Metrorail to Wynwood. The next big push in transportation infrastructure for Miami-Dade County will be setting up a rail link from the mainland to Miami Beach.

That, in as many words, was the message from Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt, speaking at a real estate conference Thursday in downtown Miami.

“The first priority for the mayor is to connect Miami to the beach,” said Osterholt, who also serves as director of the county’s regulatory and economic resources office. “And if you ask him, he’ll probably tell you it’s his second and third priority. And his fourth priority as well.”

Osterholt was responding to a question from the moderator of the Colliers International Real Estate Capital Summit, where he appeared as a lunchtime speaker. He contrasted the focus that will be placed on a Miami Beach rail link with other possible transportation priorities, such as creating new lines for the county’s light rail system.

Still he acknowledged the difficult road ahead.

“Ask [the mayor] how he’s going to do it, and he’ll probably say ‘I don’t know,’ ” Osterholt said. “Ask him how he’s going to pay for it, and he’ll say ‘I don’t know.’ ”

“There isn’t an easy answer to this, and there certainly isn’t a cheap answer.”