MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Bad news for people who rely on the Venetian Causeway to get them to the mainland.READ MORE: Kidnapping Charges Dropped Against Self-Proclaimed Witch Doctor In Woman's Disappearance
Beginning June 1st, the bridge will be closed to traffic, cyclists and pedestrians for nine months.
Due to deterioration caused by the low elevation and marine environment, construction crews will demolish and replace the westernmost 730 feet of the West Venetian Drawbridge.
Constructed in 1927, the Venetian Causeway consists of 12 bridges – 10 fixed and two drawbridges – which span the 11 man-made Venetian Islands.READ MORE: Earth Day: Positive Results For Florida's Water Restoration Efforts
During the construction period, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians heading to and from Miami Beach should use the MacArthur or Julia Tuttle Causeways. While this may be an inconvenience for drivers, for cyclists it presents a difficult situation. Neither the Julia Tuttle nor MacArthur Causeways have a guard rail to protect a shoulder bike lane which means those on two wheels have very little protection from drivers zipping by at 50 mph or more.
Since emergency responders won’t have as direct access to homes on the island either, police and fire rescue plan to practice reaching those in need on time without using the western bridge.
On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Transportation District Six will host a public workshop to address the structural and functional deficiencies of the twelve existing bridges and whether they should be fixed or replaced.MORE NEWS: Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie To Plead Not Guilty To Perjury Charge
The workshop, which will be held at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, starts at 7 p.m.