MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Construction on a flyover from the mainland to Miami Beach is expected to cause major headaches for drivers in the coming weeks.
Sunday night the Florida Department of Transportation will shutdown the eastbound flyover on the MacArthur Causeway that drivers use to go north on Alton Road.
Once the closure is in place, all eastbound traffic will shift to the 5th Street exit and drivers will then turn north onto Alton Road.
Drivers going either direction on Alton Road around 5th Street will also have to take detours around the intersection to go either north or south on Alton.
“They pulled this off at the last minute they weren’t supposed to close it they were going to work with traffic as safely as possible and somebody got in there and pulled a fast one on everyone,” said Miami Beach resident Scott Miller.
During the closure, which is scheduled to last about a month, crews will strengthen the flyover’s supports and replacing the guard rail.
“It’s going to be like Memorial Weekend everyday because there’s only three roads,” said Sean Timms. “You’ve got Alton, 5th street and 17th street, those are the three main roads in this city and it’s not good at all.”
Other construction already underway on Alton will continue while the flyover is closed.
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower described the closing as “chaos.”
“I think it’s going to be a traffic problem,” Bower said. “I think it’s going to be a nightmare.”
Beach residents said the latest construction will take traffic from bad to worse.
“I don’t think they can make it any more difficult to live on the beach,” said Miller. “Ask about traffic on Miami Beach and you’re sure to hear plenty of complaints.”
“On a good day it can take 20 minutes to get across the MacArthur,” said Timms.
According to FDOT, it will take anywhere from two to four times longer to get on and off Miami Beach with the flyover closed.
The Miami Beach City Commission has called a special meeting for Monday to discuss the closure, which is sure to have a major traffic impact in the Fifth Street area and potentially lead to more traffic over the Venetian Causeway.