Changes are on the way to one of the busiest roadways in all of South Florida.
Pompano Beach officials said they have a solution to what residents called a traffic nightmare, telling NBC 6 they’ve approved a project that will move the city into the future and resolves residents' worries about getting to and from work.
The route from A1A at the beach westbound towards Interstate 95 is one of the busiest roadways in South Florida with 175,000 drivers passing in front of Pompano Beach City Hall each day.
Just before Thanksgiving, drivers received a surprise when multiple lanes of traffic closed.
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"I saw poles. I woke up one morning on my way to Dunkin Donuts which is usually a five-minute trip and I saw how traffic was so congested to the point I made a U-turn," Dalisa Bowens, who lives near Pompano Beach City Hall, said in November of 2021.
City spokeswoman Sandra King said back then the poles and new traffic patterns were part of the plan to completely energize downtown Pompano Beach into an area with shops, offices, space for bikers and rollerbladers, and to cut the rate of accidents which experts said was five times the rate at similar intersections.
On Tuesday evening, city leaders in a unanimous vote approved a revised traffic project the city says is a win-win.
Residents who came up to speak during the meeting were still divided.
"We the people are against it. There are going to be a handful of people who make a lot of money off this project while the rest of the people suffer," one resident in opposition said.
Another resident who supports the changes gave the city credit for listened to complaints and putting their thinking caps on.
"It’s been redone, redeveloped after listening to the people of Pompano Beach and the mess that was created and the fix has been put in so the traffic will not back up like it was," the man said.
What residents said they were most concerned about was getting to work in the morning on Atlantic Boulevard.
King provided for NBC 6 the presentation done by the traffic experts hired by Pompano Beach. Those experts said with the new project drivers on Atlantic coming westbound on A1A would see a two-minute increase in the morning commute and 30 seconds at other times.
Going east to the beach, the experts said won’t take any more time.
City officials said there will now be only the loss of one lane westbound on Atlantic near City Hall, and that the lights will be better timed and it will be easier to make left-hand turns.
Pompano Beach has updated drawings showing what it will look like in coming years. It's a change the city hopes will ultimately bring new business, visitors, and put the traffic troubles in the rearview mirror.
What’s next when it comes to the project? The city needs to handle the administrative functions like officially signing the contract with the company that will do the work.
The construction is expected to start in the the fall.