The FDOT and City of Fort Lauderdale closed the main inroad to the Gateway mid-January, and Northeast 20th Avenue can no longer be accessed from westbound Sunrise Boulevard for the duration of a two plus year Middle River Bridge replacement project. Nearly every business in the Gateway area has been affected negatively, and many of these independent and unique businesses will be forced to close. All are hesitant to sign new leases, given the decline in traffic and access to their shops. Additionally, there has been a rapid increase in accidents at that corner, including pedestrians and cyclists.
Customers still making it in are aggravated; traffic has increased on westbound Sunrise Boulevard since the turn closed. At the pre-construction planning meetings, Gateway business owners were told 20th Avenue traffic would not be affected as the closure would not happen. That is not the case.
Businesses like Red Pearl Yoga and Thousand Pound Egg are asking Fort Lauderdale residents to write Mayor Jack Seiler ([email protected]) and City Commissioner Dean Trantalis ([email protected]) asking the left turn lane be reinstated, and letting them know the impact of the decision on this important area. “We cannot wait this one out and we cannot do it alone,” states Karen Gavrilov, owner Red Pearl Yoga.