A nearly two-and-a-half year long construction project on Alton Road in Miami Beach began Monday.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, a long-term goal of the work is to alleviate persistent flooding that has been made worse by an aging drainage system.
Crews will install three new pumping stations at 5th, 10th, and 14th Streets and a new drainage system to improve storm water drainage in the area. Work began Monday between Michigan Avenue and Dade Boulevard.
But the short-term consequences of construction has local business owners worried.
Bobby Thakore, whose family owns the Taste Bakery and Cafe on Alton Road and 9th Street, said Thursday he fears walk-in customers will be discouraged by construction and his delivery drivers will be stuck in traffic.
Mimi Tran, who owns two nail salons on Alton Road, said she expects a 50 percent drop in sales.
The work will span from Fifth Street to Michigan Avenue. Some parking will be eliminated and some intersections might close periodically.
For a stretch of several months, a FDOT spokesperson said all southbound lanes on Alton Road will be closed and traffic would be re-routed to West Avenue.
Lane closures are expected to be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Crews will work from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Some people who live and work along West Avenue said they fear a backlog of traffic and worry about the safety of pedestrians there.