South Beach’s Alton Road flyover will close for 30 days, starting Sunday


Detour routes

With the flyover connecting the MacArthur Causeway to Alton Road expected to be closed for at least 30 days, beginning Sunday, here are detour routes:

• Motorists traveling east on the MacArthur Causeway who wish to travel north on Alton Road will have to: Continue east on Fifth Street and turn north on Alton Road.

•  Motorists traveling south on Alton Road who wish to travel east on Fifth Street will have to: turn east on Eighth Street, turn south on Lenox Avenue and then turn east on Fifth Street.

•  Motorists south of Fifth Street who are traveling north on Alton Road and wish to continue north will have to: Turn east on Fourth Street, turn north on Lenox Avenue, then turn west on Fifth Street and finally turn north on Alton Road.

•  Motorists south of Fifth Street who are traveling north on Alton Road and wish to travel west on the MacArthur Causeway will have to: turn east on Fourth Street, turn north on Lenox Avenue, then turn west on Fifth Street and then continue west on Fifth Street to the Causeway.

•  Motorists will be able to travel south on Alton Road to access westbound MacArthur Causeway.

•  Motorists will not be able to cross east or west on Alton Road at Sixth Street.

Source: Florida Department of Transportation

The flyover from the MacArthur Causeway that dumps thousands of vehicles onto Alton Road in South Beach will be closed starting Sunday — much to the surprise of upset residents and city commissioners.

The closure is projected to last for 30 days, until mid-August. If the project runs behind schedule, the contractor would be charged $5,000 a day for up to five days.

“You’re going to make the residents miserable,” Commissioner Deede Weithorn told FDOT officials at an emergency commission meeting on Monday.

The flyover work is part of a larger and already controversial Alton Road project by the Florida Department of Transportation. The state is reconfiguring the road and adding pump stations along Alton from Fifth Street to Michigan Avenue to improve drainage in the notoriously flood-prone neighborhood. Construction began in April and is scheduled to stretch through August 2015.

Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower called Monday’s meeting to discuss the impact of shutting down a main access point to the island. She and many commissioners also took the opportunity to ream city and state officials about why the plan wasn’t better publicized.

“No one understands what’s happening, and we continue to have these problems with FDOT projects,” said Commissioner Jorge Exposito

Normally soft-spoken, he complained loudly that the city is treated as “secondary citizens” when it comes to dealing with FDOT.

The state’s original plans called for narrowing the Alton Road flyover for six months, with only 10 days of complete closures, and with construction occurring between midnight and 5 a.m.

But with school out of session and tourists no longer in town during the hot summer months, FDOT officials said they had a “unique opportunity” to get the job done quicker. Officials also said the previous plan would force contractors to do most of the construction at night, which could present noise issues for the surrounding neighborhood. They admitted on Monday, however, that even with the new plan, some construction would have to occur at night.

Officials also acknowleged that the closure would increase congestion in the area, but said they will make changes to the intersection of Alton and Fifth Street to help make traffic manageable. For example, a median will be taken out of the intersection to allow for a third lane of traffic.

Still, residents lined up — and took to Twitter — to vent frustration with state officials. Locals have protested the Alton Road plans since their inception, pushing for a reconfigured street that would slow down traffic and make their neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly.

“I’m thinking I need to go out and buy some good walking shoes,” tweeted Miami beach resident Jessica Goldstein. “I’ll be walking the 15+ miles across the causeway to work if it does what I think it will to traffic.”

Read more Top Stories stories from the Miami Herald

An second floor view of the east half of FIU Arena court Monday afternoon. Some of the dents appear as small scratches from above.

    Fitness event damages FIU basketball court

    A weekend CrossFit competition broke the beach-themed FIU Arena court that FIU volleyball, women’s basketball and men’s basketball teams call home.

  • Florida Keys

    Scientists probe secrets of Dry Tortugas

    Scientists embark on NOAA research cruise to Dry Tortugas in Florida Keys

FILE--Nubia Barahona, 10, was found dead in the back of her adoptive father's pick-up truck in West Palm Beach on Valentines Day 2011

    Child Welfare

    Nubia Barahona’s adoptive sister sues DCF

    The adoptive sister of Nubia Barahona, the child whose gruesome death while under the care of her adoptive father and mother shook Florida a few years ago, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Florida Department of Children & Families, a child welfare worker, and two former DCF investigators.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category