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Alton Road Driving Nightmare Begins

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) - For anyone who drives on south beach Alton road will be partly closed for nearly a year.

This means some major changes for anybody who lives, works on, or visits the beach.

At Alton Road and 17th, southbound traffic is shutdown. At rush houor, drivers jammed the intersection and were forced to detour into a mostly residential area.

West Avenue is the new Alton Road and it will stay that way for nearly a year. It doesn't matter if it's night or day. All the traffic meant for one of the beach`s major roads is being dumped onto a much smaller street.

Ryan Logan said, "This f*$& fiasco. What a fiasco. It's a disaster."

Why is it such a disaster? Because Miami Beach is trying to get a fix on tidal flooding. It plagues residents and businesses every year. This week, the first week of the much needed 32 million dollar project, has drivers fuming.

Ron Gerard said, "I work on 16th street live on 8th street and it's taken me about 45 minutes to get to work now when it used to take me about 4 minutes.""

A frustrated driver said, "Today, earlier today it took me half an hour to go from Lincoln to 5th."

The massive construction project includes tearing up Alton Road to install a new drainage system and new pump stations.

Pablo Lucero, Manager of West Ave Cafe said "So far, for the last three days I've seen three car accidents because people are not yet really paying attention to the lanes over here."

As part of the West Avenue detour route, road patterns have been changed and turn lanes eliminated. Drivers are confused and people who ride the bus are delayed.

Sean Mcpartlan said, '"You just end up with a lot of frustrated people. A lot of traffic and buses that don't really fit on this tiny little road, like that bus right there."

Businesses on West Avenue were notified about the construction but never anticipated this.

Lucero said, "You know we're in a neighborhood kind of our business is located right here where it's kind of quiet and people like to come over here. It's not like Ocean Drive or Washington Ave."

And even though a pedestrian was almost hit, he understands why all of this is needed.

CBS4's Jamie Guirola asked, "Obviously theres a lot more traffic right?"

Gerard replied, "Exactly."

Guirola said, "And you almost got ran over?"

Gerard replied, "Exactly.""
Guirola asked, "What do you think about this?"

Gerard said, "I mean eventually I think it will be great for the community but right now we're just going through the growing period. Once it's done then we'll be fine."

Alton Road from 5th to 17th is only open to northbound traffic. Parking meters on southbound Alton Road will also be affected.


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