Broward County Commissioner - Lois Wexler - The Latest News
March 2014

Multiple projects are currently underway at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades; construction on I-595 is nearing completion with the reversible express lanes opening soon; the much anticipated flood maps have been finalized; and CB Smith Park has a great new attraction. Everywhere there are concrete examples, literally, that progress is being made in Broward County. And for those that fear the economy is still struggling – take a look around at the jobs being created.

Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport

Nearly 20 projects are nearing completion with others expected to be completed over the next four years. The overall goals are to increase flight capacity, eliminate the airport’s reputation as one of the most delay-prone hubs in the country, and enhance the travel experience.

The most high-profile project is the south runway. Although the undertaking has many facets, the most obvious is the runway ramp over the US 1 tunnel. Officials expect the runway to open for air traffic in mid-September, although work on surrounding areas will continue for months. 

All terminals will be upgraded with new concessions, retail stores, and restaurants as well as new floors, lights, seats and ecologically-sensitive bathrooms.

Terminal 4 will double in size to a total of 14 gates, add new restaurants and concessions, feature a larger security checkpoint, and double the number of restrooms. There will also be a bridge to Terminal 3 to accommodate those with connecting flights.
Terminal 1 will have an additional five gates and a new customs inspection station allowing international travelers to transfer to other concourses without having to pass through security a second time.

Port Everglades

Several crucial projects are underway, planned or nearing completion at one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. The projects are aimed at making the Port more accessible to larger ships.
Preliminary work has begun on the Southport Turning Notch Extension, the crucial deepwater area for big ships to turn around. The project also plans to add five new berths. The Port is working with environmental officials to create a new mangrove habitat before the project can move forward. Once started, work on the project is expected to take two years.
Elsewhere, work has been underway since the summer of 2011 toward the creation of a centralized facility to efficiently transfer containers between ships and trains. The project, slated to be completed in July, is expected to reduce congestion as containers are currently hauled to rail yards on local roadways.
Work is about to begin in expanding Cruise Terminal 4 for easier boarding and departing. By adding more baggage areas and increasing parking. The project should be done in November in time for winter cruise passengers. The slip will be extended next year to handle larger cruise ships.
The current security checkpoint on Eisenhower Boulevard will be moved so that visitors to the Broward County Convention Center will no longer have to pass through security screenings meant for Port traffic.

Upland Mangrove Enhancement

Express Lanes on I-595 Open This Month

After five years of dust, noise and ever-changing lane patterns, the overhaul of I- 595 with its new exits and entrances, sound barrier walls and spaghetti tangle of overpasses –is expected to come to an end in late June.

The signature piece of the project is due to open at the end of this month - the reversible express lanes - designed to alleviate the backup of traffic during rush hours.

Three reversible lanes, located between the current roadways, will carry traffic eastbound from 4 am to 1 pm and westbound from 2 pm to 2 am on Mondays through Fridays. Weekend travel on the reversible lanes will always be eastbound. A series of gates at each entrance will keep traffic from entering at the wrong times.

The eastbound entrance will be just west of 136th Avenue and exit at the Florida Turnpike or I-95. The westbound entrance will be just west of I-95 and exit near the I-75 and Sawgrass interchange. Motorists will be charged through SunPass from 50 cents to $2 depending on the volume of traffic. The speed limit for the express lanes will be 70 mph.

The biggest challenge will be to educate the public that the express lanes will have no exit points along the way. They are intended for express traffic only.

FEMA Flood Maps

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has indicated that the new flood maps have been finalized and will be made public in the near future.

The updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps will go into effect on August 18. At that time, banks and other lenders will require residents and business owners with mortgaged property designated in high risk flood zones to purchase flood insurance. Proposed maps indicate that nearly 75 percent of the homes in District 5 have a reduced risk of flood. Check with your mortgage company for their stand on flood insurance before changing or canceling your policy.

According to a FEMA spokesperson, the maps are a joint effort of federal, state, and local officials with predictions made on a neighborhood basis. Therefore, they may not be a perfect predictor for individual properties.

Once the finalized maps have been released, you can see the status of your property by checking the online map

If you have questions or believe your designation is incorrect, call the FEMA Map Exchange toll free at (877) 336-2627 for assistance.

Paradise Pipeline CB Smith Park

Paradise Pipeline CB Smith Park

The new Paradise Pipeline at CB Smith Park will open to the public on March 21. The complex consists of four, colorful, five-story-tall waterslides. Riders can enjoy a thrilling, high-speed corkscrew slide that exits into a four-foot-deep plunge pool. The 32-inch-wide, open-body waterslides vary in length from 395 feet long to 430 feet long. More than 400 gallons of water per minute move riders down the slides for an incomparable waterslide experience.
The new attraction complements the 4.69-acre facility’s other features, which include: a 12-inch-deep pool with two small waterslides and other interactive play elements designed for ages 5 and under; an 18-inch-deep pool with three waterslides (83, 93, and 125 feet long) and other interactive play elements; and a 410-foot-long meandering tube ride with interactive play elements along the route.
A Paradise Pipeline Party will be held on Saturday, April 26 at 9 am. Commissioner Wexler will be on hand to officially open the new water-park amenity to the public.
For fees, operating hours, and further information, visit the Parks Website at, CB Smith Park.

Contact Us

Phone: 954-357-7005
115 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301

Aide: Margaret Wolter at
Aide: Sandy Yeager at
Newsletter Editor: Wm. F. Hirschman at

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