The drawbridge on the Venetian Causeway closest to Miami Beach was closed to vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic for several hours Saturday until reopening around 6 p.m.
Miami-Dade County officials sent out the advisory around 2:30 p.m. when the East Bascule Bridge malfunctioned for a second time in one day. There had been a one-hour closure earlier in the morning.
For more than three hours, the bridge remained open to only marine traffic, while some motorists remained captive in their vehicles as they sat in traffic.
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Coconut Grove resident Richard Shaw, 47, said police were largely unhelpful when he was stuck in the gridlock on the causeway.
“Miami police department utterly failed to negotiate the situation appropriately,” Shaw said. “I was stuck sitting in traffic for an hour and 37 minutes while my 10-year-old child was waiting for me to pick up.”
Shaw said there were no police units on the Biscayne Boulevard side of the closure rerouting traffic or notification of the approaching traffic jam until a mile before.
“There was zero communication,” Shaw said. “The only communication was a police officer stationed 1.2 miles from the [Miami Beach] Convention Center.”
Around 6:10 p.m., Miami Beach Police sent out a message on Twitter that Venetian traffic had reopened for vehicles and pedestrians.
While the bridge reconnected, Miami Beach police officers looked on as cyclists waited for traffic to resume.
On April 8, a malfunction on the same bridge led to an approximate eight-hour shutdown.