South Floridians heading to one of the region’s most popular beaches — the city of Hollywood’s — will need to find a new route this summer now that a bridge is closed for three months.
The Sheridan Street Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway closed on Monday and will stay shut through September, which means significant detours for the community and local businesses.
“It’s quiet,” said Sandy Ipsen, who works at Oceans 13, a sports bar close to the drawbridge. She hadn’t known the closure would last three months. She believes that regulars will still come, but the bar will lose the tourists who drive up on Sheridan and discover them.
“We’ll take a hit,” she said. Still, she thinks the repairs are much needed.
The bridge, which is being improved by the state Department of Transportation, will boast anti-slip walking plates, new pedestrian gates, and a traffic railing between the road and the sidewalk.
Eastbound drivers will be diverted along US 1 to go past the Intracoastal either on Hollywood Boulevard or Dania Beach Boulevard. Westbound drivers will head along State Road A1A to Hollywood Boulevard or Dania Beach Boulevard. Route 13 buses also will now face detours around the bridge.
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The detours will add about three miles in each direction, which could mean 10 or 15 more minutes of travel time each way, depending on traffic.
The bridge will remain partially open for boats on a modified schedule. But the installation of a containment system for construction purposes will reduce its vertical clearance, or distance from the water, by 5 feet.
During the week, one side of the bridge will open on the quarter-hour and three-quarter hour from 6 am to 8 pm Boaters will have to request a full opening four hours in advance. Those who need a full opening after 8 pm will have to request one 24 hours in advance, and will only be able to pass through between midnight and 1 am
On weekend nights, one side of the bridge will lift on the quarter and three-quarter hour, but the bridge won’t open fully at all.
Other business owners contacted on Monday afternoon still didn’t know the closure was happening.
“That’s news to me,” said Alberto Falcon, who runs Falcon’s jet ski rental near the bridge. He couldn’t say how it was affecting business because he hadn’t been at the storefront that day, though he could confirm that it wouldn’t affect jet-skiers.
More information on the bridge closure and the rehabilitation project can be found on the city of Hollywood’s website, hollywoodfl.organd the Florida Department of Transportation’s website, d4fdot.com.