MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Traffic was still flowing on the Alton Road flyover Monday after weather delayed the month-long closure if the heavily traveled road.
Construction crews were doing last-minute work to the intersection at 5th Street and Alton Rd. on South Beach Monday evening in anticipation of the closure.
Some drivers said the construction will take traffic from bad to worse, while other called in the price of progress.
“It’s going to be chaos,” Ivan Ramirez said from behind the wheel of his taxi.
Ramirez drives from downtown Miami to the beach via the MacArthur Causeway, sometimes multiple times a day.
He’s rethinking his route now that the flyover is set to close temporarily.
“I’m definitely going to avoid heading in from 395,” Ramirez told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana.
Since learning of the impending closure, Ramirez and other drivers have been preparing for delays.
“It’s already tough to get on the beach,” Nima Noori said. “Traffic is already bad, and it’s going to get even worse.”
Noori said he lives in downtown Miami and often visits the beach on weekends.
“I’ll probably stop coming here,” he said. At least until the construction is done.
“It’s going to be a mess I think,” Philip Maranges, a Miami Beach, said. “It’s always backed up as it is.”
The flyover was supposed to shut down Sunday, but construction was pushed back a day because of weather.
“We actually have to restripe sections of the roadway,” said Enrique Tamayo with the Florida Department of Transportation. “We can’t do that while the road is wet. So that’s what we’re going to do (Monday), weather permitting of course.”
On Monday evening, crews were beginning the process of re-striping the road at Alton Rd. and 5th Street to make it possible for driver to turn north on Alton while coming from the causeway.
The flyover project is just one part of a plan to improve drainage along Alton Road.
While construction has been in the works for a while, the flyover closure caught some commissioners off guard.
A few of them were not aware of the change in the construction timeline thanks to a mix-up at the city manager’s office.
FDOT officials said closing the road for 30 days, rather than periodic overnight closures over the course of 6 months, would be more efficient.
“We realize the project is a disruption,” Tamayo said. “We try to communicate as effectively as we can with not just the city, but with individual business owners and residents as well.”
Nima Noori called the closure a “traffic-pocalyspe”.
Meanwhile, cab driver Ivan Ramirez said the traffic is all part of his job.
“I’m looking forward. We just have to adapt,” Ramirez said. “Just like everything else in life.”