Update on I-595
Drivers commuting on I-595 will continue to experience lane changes and adjustments to exit ramps but we are happy to report the project is ahead of schedule and targeted for completion in January of 2014.
There is one very important closure we want you to be aware of as we move into summer. Beginning at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 and ending at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, I-595 will be closed in both directions at University Drive. Construction crews will be jacking up the flyover from University Drive to eastbound I-595. The ramp must rise 18 inches so the interstate can be widened underneath the bridge. Signage with detour directions will be prominently displayed and you will be seeing/hearing more news on the closure as we get closer to the date. We want to encourage you to find alternate routes to I-595 travel during this 24-hour time period.
The “bridge-jacking” is only expected to take 24 hours but the flyover itself will remain closed for four months. Once the interstate reopens at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, southbound University Drive motorists will have to make a left turn at the traffic signal onto eastbound SR 84 in order to reach eastbound I-595.
We recommend you regularly check I-595.com to get the most up-to-date information on this project.
Hurricane Season, Again
Summer may mean tanning on the beaches to tourists, but Broward residents know it better as the start of hurricane season.
Your County government is ready to help you if and when a disaster strikes. But it is also important to remember that if a bad situation arises, it may take some time before the help you need reaches you. We strongly urge you to make plans with your family and friends for the likelihood that you will have to provide for your own needs for at least three – even five days –if a hurricane strikes Broward County.
Some people are overwhelmed by the prospect of preparations. What do I actually need to do before a storm forms offshore? What food and materials do I need to buy? How can I afford it?
The County provides many tools to assist you, including checklists to take the panic out of preparations, and informative facts sheets on topics ranging from trimming your trees before an emergency to reporting home damage after an emergency. These are available on our website, broward.org/hurricane. There’s also additional emergency preparedness information for the elderly and those with disabilities and/or special medical needs, available at broward.org/atrisk.
One of the most helpful and popular tools on our hurricane preparedness website is a list of food and other items to buy in order to be fully prepared for a storm. Our Hurricane Kit Shopping Guide is especially useful because it spreads the cost of assembling your hurricane kit over eight weeks.
Other services can be very important to you in an emergency, but involve a little preparation:
- Have a shelter plan, even if your plan is to shelter at home. General Population Shelters are available to all and are operated by the American Red Cross. If you have special medical needs and expect to use a Special Needs Shelter, pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. Call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608). Special Needs Shelters are operated by the Broward Health Department.
- You can pre-register for paratransit transportation, if you think you may need it. Call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608). You are not obligated to take advantage of the Special Needs Shelter or paratransit transportation services if your plans change.
- Broward County has a pet-friendly shelter for residents and their pets living in evacuation areas, operated by the American Red Cross and the Humane Society of Broward County. Pre-registration is required, and pets must be accompanied by their owners. Call the Humane Society at 954-989-3977.
- In a recovery, some residents may be especially vulnerable, especially those with health issues who may find themselves stranded on the upper floors of a building, without power, or unable to call for help. As an extra measure of security, these individuals should register with Broward County’s Vulnerable Population Registry. The Registry allows people who are disabled, frail or have health issues to register in advance with their city so that emergency workers may plan a better response in a recovery effort. Each city may use the Registry in a different way, and registering isn't a guarantee of services. For more information or if you would like to register, call 954-831-4000 or 3-1-1.
The County also has added new ways for residents to stay up to date with important public safety information before, during and after a storm.
- Follow us on Twitter@ReadyBroward – nearly 1,000 residents are already following!
- Like us on our new Facebook site.
- Subscribe to receive Hurricane Update eMails.
- Bookmark the Home Damage Assessment application on your cell phone or other mobile device at: http://gis.broward.org/mda.
- Call the Hurricane Hotline at 954-831-4000 or 3-1-1 – operators are there to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during normal conditions, and 24/7 during an emergency.
The County Commission just finished up their last meeting before our summer break, but do not fear, you can still call my office with any questions, concerns or comments that you may have. I’ll be getting ready for the upcoming budget discussions and for the County Commission to resume its job of doing the business of the people of Broward County.
I am also pleased to let you know that no one chose to oppose me in the upcoming election, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve you through my final term as a County Commissioner.