Florida Keys News
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Traffic pattern changes today
179 palm trees return to North Roosevelt Boulevard

So you thought you had the North Roosevelt traffic pattern figured out? Think again.

Starting today, southbound traffic lanes will switch from the business side of the street to the newly paved three-mile stretch along the water side.

"The plan is to switch the traffic pattern over a two-day period, starting today and running into Wednesday," said Dean Walters, spokesman for Florida Department of Transportation. "It will start at the triangle and work its way down the boulevard all day into the evening."

Traffic turning right onto North Roosevelt at U.S. 1 will flow to the waterside. Traffic heading northbound to the triangle will remain as is for a few more days so the construction company can work in the middle lane to smooth out the unevenness of the lanes caused by repaving, Walters said.

Last week, traffic experts were in Key West to study the timing of traffic lights near the Kennedy Drive intersection and Overseas Market, an area notorious for heavy traffic backups, Walters said. With the increase in tourist traffic this time of year, the company decided to add a few seconds to the timing at both places to help the areas "empty out faster," he said.

As cars drive along the water side of the road, some 179 new palm trees will add to the balmy view. During the weekend, the trees were planted to replace the ones that were removed for the construction.

"We are still shooting for a July 21 date for the project to be finished," Walters said. "When we start the business side of the street, the construction company will leave the asphalt driveways that are already there, making it easier for the cars to get in and out. They will not be removed until the last possible minute."

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