Extreme road makeovers take time.
And the $9.4 million redesign of State Road A1A is going to take more time than originally planned, state transportation officials say.
Orange barricades went up more than a year ago from Sheridan to Johnson streets, bringing agony to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who travel the busy road. The barricades were supposed to be gone by this spring.
Now it’s looking more like summer, which extends through Sept. 22.
“It’s one of those heartaches we’re going to have to live with a little bit longer,” Scott Thurman, a project manager for the state Department of Transportation, told commissioners during a recent meeting.
The A1A project got underway in October 2017 and was supposed to be finished by fall 2018. That was later changed to spring, and now summer.
Crews are working on new turn lanes and medians, wider sidewalks, better lighting and pretty landscaping.
In the meantime, critics say Hollywood’s stretch of A1A has turned into one of the most maddening commutes for both tourists and locals.
“A1A is a mess,” said Bob Glickman, a beach condo owner who thinks the project was poorly executed.
While under construction, A1A has gone from four lanes to two for a one-mile stretch from Sheridan Street to Johnson.
Glickman and others think it would have been less painful on drivers if construction crews would have worked block by block.
Glickman says it can take 30 minutes just to drive 1.3 miles from Sheridan Street to Hollywood Boulevard. And it’s even worse on weekends.
“It’s brutal,” he said. “For those of us who live on the beach, we can’t get off the beach.”
Glickman was not happy to learn the project wouldn’t done by spring. Hollywood commissioners weren’t exactly thrilled either.
Commissioner Caryl Shuham, whose district includes the beach, questioned whether the contractor would blow the summer deadline too.
“My concern is that it hasn’t been all that much time since you were estimating a spring completion,” Shuham told state officials. “And we’re now in a July completion. My concern is that’s not real either.”
The contractor was given 349 days to finish the project, but that deadline did not include extra days given for bad weather and holidays.
State officials came up with the new summer deadline based on the contractor’s work schedule, said Rebecca Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
Shuham questioned whether they’d taken into account that summer is one of the wettest times of year.
Project engineer Antonio Piedra said they had allotted for four rainy days per month based on last year’s weather.
“We can’t predict the weather,” Piedra said. “We don’t know if it’s going to be a dry May or wet June.”
Commissioner Kevin Biederman told state officials he’d like to see the project wrapped up by the busy July 4th holiday.
But summer — the new deadline — extends all the way into September.
On Sunday, Biederman said he would not be at all surprised if A1A is still a mess on Independence Day. Still, he holds out hope.
“They didn’t rule it out,” he said. “They’re very vague.”