FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Drivers in the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale area can expect delays Thursday afternoon as thousands of runners lace up their sneakers and take part in the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run.
Although the Corporate Run is set to start at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, road closures for the event began Wednesday evening. Las Olas Boulevard was closed at 6 p.m. between Andrews Avenue and S.E. 1st Avenue.
On Thursday, at 1 p.m., road closures will expand on Las Olas Blvd. from Andrews Ave. to S.E. 2nd Ave. Southeast 1st Ave. will also be closed from S.E. 2nd Street to Las Olas Blvd. These roads will re-open at 10 p.m. Thursday.
On Thursday, drivers can expect traffic to increase at 4 p.m. when participants start arriving at the Huizenga Plaza/Bubier Park. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. street detours and lane closures along the race route will take effect.
No traffic will be able to move for about 20 minutes during the first half mile of the race route north of the New River. The Ft. Lauderdale Police Department will open the roadways to traffic after the last participant proceeds along the route.
Northbound Andrews Ave. south of S.E. 17th St. will be directed to S.W. 4th Ave. or U.S. 1. Traffic north of 17th St. will be sent west to S.W. 4th Ave. at 15th St.
Davie Blvd. will also be closed to traffic between Andrews Ave. and S.E. 3rd Ave.
Alternate routes include sending east traffic south to S.E. 17th St. and directing westbound traffic back toward U.S. 1. Southbound traffic on Andrews Ave. will remain unaffected.
The race will run from 6:45 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.
Traffic congestion will begin to ease at 9:30 p.m. when the roadways, with the exception of Las Olas, reopen.
East Las Olas Blvd. will reopen to traffic at 11 p.m.
More than 7,000 runners from 280 companies are expected to take part in the event. The competition, Known as “Florida’s Largest Office Party”, awards men’s, women’s and co-ed teams in 20 different industries. The run is open to all employees of businesses, corporations, government agencies, financial institutions and non-profits.
As part of the tri-county race circuit, a portion of the proceeds from the Fort Lauderdale run will benefit United Way.
The Corporate Run takes place in Miami on April 24th.