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FDOT plans construction on U.S. 1 in South Dade

Meditation instructor Charlotte Dummitt sells an aromatherapy “negativity remover spray” that she says is ideal for car interiors. She also coaches her clients on how to stay calm in stressful situations. Next year, that job may get tough when road construction begins on U.S. 1 not far from her South Dade business.

Dummitt, also known as Shaman Char, and her clients will be among the many motorists whose patience will be tested when the Florida Department of Transportation begins a repaving project from Southwest 112th Avenue to 184th Street/Eureka Drive on U.S. 1 in Cutler Bay.

The area is already known for its heavy traffic. FDOT spokeswoman Alicia Gonzalez said officials will be taking many precautions to minimize the project’s effects.

“There is so much traffic in this part of U.S. 1, the work on this project will likely be done overnight and it will be done in phases,” Gonzalez said. “This is a highly commercial area. We will not be blocking access to businesses or homes.”

Gonzalez said that since the project is in the design phase, the best time to offer input to the engineers is during a scheduled public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the South Dade Government Center in Cutler Bay. Engineers from Hardesty & Hanover, a firm based in New York, are working as design consultants.

The last time the road was paved was in 1998. And if all goes as planned, construction is set to begin in June of next year and end in 2015. Gonzalez said the road closures are likely to be scheduled from 9 p.m. through 5:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

FDOT will also be upgrading signs, markings and drainage, and closing unused driveways. The project is expected to cost $3.6 million, FDOT spokeswoman Marilyn Marrero said.

Marrero and Gonzalez said they are spending a lot of time trying to inform people who may be affected by the construction about the Tuesday meeting, where officials will presenting the proposed plans.

“It’s really important that people participate,” Gonzalez said. “They may think that no one is listening to them, but we are; and the engineers will be there to meet one-on-one and answer questions.”

But since getting to the 6 p.m. Cutler Bay meeting could involve battling rush hour traffic, Shaman Char’s calming spray may be needed. Avoiding the journey altogether is an option, as FDOT is welcoming emails with questions and concerns before the meeting, at

And if none of that works, Brikram Yoga Falls, 13847 S. Dixie Hwy., in Palmetto Bay teaches breathing exercises.