Proceed With Caution: Construction Starts Over Middle River

Two years of inconvenient construction recently kicked off to demolish and rebuild the bridge over Middle River. Moving from two lanes to three lanes, westbound Sunrise will experience serious construction between Northeast 20th Avenue and Middle River Drive, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The more than 40,000 vehicles a day that travel over this bridge don’t have the most convenient alternatives. The East Las Olas Boulevard bridge is currently going through a near $6 million construction project and that bridge will remain only one lane traveling in each direction until April. The only other routes that allows travelers to and from the beach are Southeast 17th Street to the south and Oakland Park Boulevard to the north.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand that there is never a perfect time to schedule construction, but some would argue that tourist season may be one of the worst. The Middle River Bridge was constructed back in the ’50s and has been widened twice since. It is currently on the state’s list of deficient bridges and needs some serious repairs or to be completely replaced. The westbound left-turn lane that goes to Northeast 20th Avenue will be changed to a westbound through lane during construction.

Motorists driving through the construction zone play a major role in safety on any project. Efforts to maintain traffic through the area can be wiped out by a single careless motorist. According to accident reports, most accidents in the construction zone are a result of driver error or carelessness. This applies to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

Construction Zone Safety Tips:

-Remain aware of all traffic and warning signs in the area. Avoid rubbernecking.

-Make sure you slow your speed and watch out for all speed limit signs. In the state of Florida, speeding fines are doubled in work zones where workers are present.

-Be on the lookout for slow-moving construction vehicles that are entering and exiting the roadway.

-Avoid stopping in travel lanes. If you’ve got to stop, make sure that you do so only once you’ve pulled completely off the road and out of the way of traffic.

-If it’s raining, make sure that your headlights are on so that other vehicles can see you more easily.

-Avoid tailgating in these areas. Traffic is likely to stop and go. Make sure you allow yourself with plenty of stopping time and distance.

-Always follow the instructions of flaggers.

-Don’t fool around. Eliminate distractions like eating, drinking, talking on the phone, or fiddling with electronic devices.

-Plan ahead. Leave early or map out an alternate route.

-Keep up with the traffic flow. (Don’t drive right up to the lane closure and then try to barge in.)

-Always expect the unexpected.

-Keep a lookout for pavement markings. Painted or taped lines on the pavement delineate vehicle travel lanes and can also indicate pedestrian paths.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Broward B-Cycle Rider Safety in Focus, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, January 10, 2014
Broward Traffic Safety: Elderly Drivers in Focus, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2013

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