Drivers in Miami Beach are hitting road blocks and backups as The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began its 28-month construction project on Alton Road. The $32 million project spans from Fifth Street to Michigan Avenue and will improve the aging road and provide a new drainage system for storm water drainage in area.
“Alton Road has a heavy drainage problem not just during the rainy season but also with the tidal conditions,” said Enrique Tamayo, the FDOT Project Engineer. “The pump stations will help alleviate that problem.” Crews will also repave the road, add new sidewalk extensions; replace traffic and pedestrian signals at intersections; install new signage and pavement markings; install new street lighting and install new landscaping and irrigation.
“I don’t even like to think about it too much because two and a half years is preposterous,” said Harold Digianni, the manager at Master’s Italian Restaurant on Alton Road. “It will definitely slow down business, it will slow down our delivery times.”
For the first phase of the project, one lane in each direction is closed from Dade Boulevard north to Michigan Ave. By the week of April 8, crews will begin excavating the roadway, installing the new water main and setting up temporary street lighting. During the construction, one express lane will be closed, either northbound or southbound.
During construction, the southbound left turn lane on Alton Road at Dade Boulevard will be converted to a through travel lane in order to keep traffic moving. By the end of April, the excavation work will extend south to 17th Street. While workers prepare for installing new pump station on 5th, 10th, and 14th streets, lanes may be shut down between Alton and West Avenue and West and Bay Road.
Some alternate routes include Bay Road and West Avenue for drivers heading south; people driving north could use Lenox Avenue or meridian Avenue. The Florida Department of Transportation said the project will be completed in August 2015 and workers will do what they can to minimize construction delays on the road.