Miami Beach

US Coast Guard considers locking down 63rd Street bridge in Miami Beach during rush hour

After a request from the city, the U.S. Coast Guard is considering keeping the 63rd Street bridge locked down during rush hour. The public can comment on the proposal at www.regulations.gov until April 18.
After a request from the city, the U.S. Coast Guard is considering keeping the 63rd Street bridge locked down during rush hour. The public can comment on the proposal at www.regulations.gov until April 18. Provided to the Miami Herald

In an effort to prevent rush-hour traffic jams, the U.S. Coast Guard is looking for public input on a proposal to lock down the 63rd Street bridge in Miami Beach mornings and afternoons.

Traffic in North Beach gets backed up, particularly when the bridge goes up during rush hour. Under current regulations, the bridge opens on demand for boats traveling along Indian Creek.

The city asked the Coast Guard to explore options after Commissioner Micky Steinberg raised concerns last March.

Officials have come back with a proposal: to lock down the bridge from 7:10 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. and from 4:05 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The plan also has the bridge opening only on the hour and half hour from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and for the week before the yacht show, the bridge would only open for 10 minutes at the top of the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to traffic studies done by the city, there’s a 45 percent increase in vehicular traffic during the proposed rush-hour lock-down periods with no corresponding increase in vessel traffic.

Federal regulations require the Coast Guard to take public input before considering the changes. A public comment period is open until April 18 at www.regulations.gov. Search for “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Indian Creek, Miami Beach, FL” to find the proposal and leave input.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech

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