The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has temporarily shut down the $41 million North Roosevelt Boulevard project and will be removing and storing temporary barricades and street and business signs today, in preparation for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Workers plan to work through Saturday dismantling plastic barricades and taking down temporary street signs, said Dean Walters, spokesman for the reconstruction project. The equipment will be stored behind large, permanent concrete barriers.
"Traffic signs will be taken down last," Walters said. "We don't want to cause confusion."
There are 300 orange barrels and 200 signs to remove and store, Walters said. The barrels and signs will be stacked up behind concrete barriers currently on North Roosevelt Boulevard. Thousands of feet of large pipes also will be tied down on site.
FDOT work crews will leave some orange barricade barrels in place, but weigh them down with sandbags, to block off the construction area. Crews also leave bright orange webbing and fencing in place to keep motorists out of the construction areas, Walters said. And all trenches will be filled or covered.
Residents learned the damage storm surge can do after Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 -- a repeat could dump thousands of gallons of water in trenches. North Roosevelt was under several feet of seawater during the height of flooding the day after the storm.
Crews will leave after their work is complete Saturday. They could return Monday and resume road construction work if weather permits.
"They want to get back to work as soon as possible," Walters said.
An FDOT employee will stay behind to handle traffic signal repairs, he added.