KEY WEST (CBSMiami) — In case the supersoaker disturbance approaching the Keys Saturday night isn’t enough trouble, there’s a construction mess on the major route in and out of Key West.
North Roosevelt Boulevard is under construction, and delays and backups will be part of the routine.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports the massive roadwork is squeezing traffic into the Southernmost City changed from two inbound and outbound lanes each to just two inbound lanes between Kennedy Drive and Palm Avenue.
At Palm, traffic goes down to one inbound lane to the intersection of Truman, which North Roosevelt becomes at Eisenhower and White streets.
Outbound traffic is diverted on White Street over to Flagler Avenue or South Roosevelt Boulevard.
Key Westers are changing their routines to get around the mess. John Dresher, manager of the Gordon Food Service Marketplace at 2508 N. Roosevelt, says shoppers are “coming in a little bit later in the morning and a little bit later at night.”
The $41.5 million project is slated for completion by June 2014. The primary contractor for the Florida Department of Transportation is the Miami-Dade-based De Moya Group Inc.
The state is paying $31.8 million of the $41.5 million project’s cost. The city of Key West is putting in $4.3 million for a new sewer main and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority is adding $5.4 million for a new water line.
The work includes the entire stretch of the North Roosevelt seawall, slated to be bordered by a 20-foot-wide landscaped promenade; four lanes of traffic each 11 feet wide; a 10-foot center turn lane; and a six-foot sidewalk on the business side of the road running from North Roosevelt and U.S. 1 to the intersection of North Roosevelt and Eisenhower Drive.
For the duration of the construction, DOT is maintaining a website, www.fdotmonroe.com/keywest, that allows motorists to register for e-mail updates about changes in work hours, traffic patterns and the like.
There are 35 blackout days, or days when construction won’t be done, each year during the construction to allow for tourist draws like the annual Fantasy Fest and powerboat races.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)