Christmas is coming early for drivers in South Beach.
By the end of the workday Wednesday, southbound traffic on Alton Road in Miami Beach will be open between 17th and Eighth Streets. Drivers will again be able to travel along the bulk of Alton Road in both directions after the contractor pushed to finish much of the drainage improvement and road reconstruction project in time for the holidays.
The Florida Department of Transportation is overseeing the project, which is being completed by contractor Bergeron Land Development. City leaders asked FDOT to accelerate the project earlier this year, and it was agreed that the work would be done months ahead of schedule, by Dec.31. As an incentive, FDOT agreed to pay Bergeron a $1million bonus for making the deadline.
Now workers will take the last month to tie up some loose ends, according to project spokeswoman Heather Leslie.
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“In the next month, they’re doing signal work, making sure the pedestrian and traffic signals are working, and sidewalk and landscaping work,” she said Tuesday.
This work will include daily lane closures, but southbound and northbound traffic will be open between 17th and Eighth Streets, and West Avenue will no longer be used as a southbound detour.
A few remaining portions of the $32million project along Alton will be finished by summer 2015. Beginning the week of Dec.8, the rebuilding of Alton between Dade Boulevard and Michigan Avenue is set to begin.
Leslie said the work will push traffic to the west side of the street, and one lane in each direction will remain open.
Work from Fifth to Eighth streets will also be done by the summer.
Gus Pego, the local district secretary for FDOT, said in a statement that his department heard the pleas from a community eager to see an end to the headaches caused by the more than one year of construction.
“Through our coordination with the contractor, city of Miami Beach and community groups, we are able to alleviate many of the project’s impacts in time for the holiday season,” he said.
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