The thousands of commuters who drive east and west along busy Southwest Eighth Street will need to find an alternate route for quite a while.
“Motorists need to stay away,” Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Sanchez said Saturday.
The road will remain closed from Southwest 107th to 117th avenues indefinitely, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
“Motorists should start preparing now for travel into the area on Monday morning and the upcoming week. Motorists should plan to leave early, seek alternate routes to their destination and exercise patience,” said Lt. Alex Camacho of the Florida Highway Patrol in a release.
As first responders pulled cars and the last victims from the rubble of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse, Sanchez said preparations for increased traffic have to ramp up.
Classes resume Monday for FIU students who have been on Spring Break. The Youth Fair continues nearby until April 8.
Digital signs have been placed along the Florida Turnpike and roadways leading onto Southwest Eighth Street to warn drivers of closures.
The message: “We are emphasizing the importance of staying away from the area as we prepare for Monday morning rush hour and FIU students and the Youth Fair,” Sanchez said. He urged FIU students to carpool.
Access to FIU and the Youth Fair at the adjacent Tamiami Park is available from Southwest 24th Street (Coral Way) or Southwest 107th and 117th Avenue. FIU also suggests students and faculty consider exits on Northwest 12th Street or Southwest 40th Street to access the campus. Three FIU parking garages will be closed to cars when students return Monday.
The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) announced on Friday that tolls on State Road 836’s entrance and exit ramps near FIU are being temporarily suspended to help traffic flow. Tolls at the eastbound 836 exit to Northwest 107th Avenue and westbound entrance from Northwest 107th Avenue will be suspended.
The Eighth Street entrance and exit ramps from Florida’s Turnpike are also closed. MDX is encouraging drivers to use the Northwest 107th Avenue exit from 836 as an alternate route. The suspension of this toll will remain until Eighth Street is reopened.