Before the Brightline train arrives, there must be more pain on the streets for track work.
This time, drivers in Midtown and Little Haiti must endure rail-crossing closures as Northeast 36th, 39th and 59th street get blocked off on either side of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.
Here’s the plan:
▪ From Thursday at 6 p.m. through Saturday at 6 p.m., drivers on Northeast 59th Street will be detoured at Northeast Second Avenue coming from the west and Northeast Fourth Court coming from the east. The detours go south to Northeast 54th Street, west to Northeast Fourth Court or east to Northeast Second Avenue, then back north. Considering all this could make that Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 54th Street intersection more crowded than downtown Tokyo, drivers might want to use different streets and avoid the detour completely. The closings are supposed to end Saturday at 6 p.m.
▪ Two hours later, the first of the Midtown closings starts on Northeast 36th Street and will last until March 24 at 6 p.m.
▪ The Northeast 39th Street closing starts at 11:59 p.m. Saturday and runs through March 22 at 6 p.m..
Both detours turn westbound traffic south at Miami Avenue. Eastbound traffic gets turned south at Biscayne Boulevard or Northeast Second Avenue. The detour goes down to Northeast 29th Street at which point drivers can turn east off Miami Avenue or west off Biscayne or Northeast Second. Cars can turn back north at the next corner.
Unless there’s a traffic light change at Northeast 29th Street and Miami Avenue, that left turn to the east off Miami Avenue could take several light rotations. Think about going all the way down to 20th on Miami Avenue before making that turn, then taking that all the way over to Biscayne. Or, instead of going south on Miami Avenue, go north into the 40s and cut through the residential neighborhoods to Northeast Second Avenue.
Brightline, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, will begin service from a new train station in downtown Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach this summer. A route to the Orlando airport will be added in 2018.