Drivers prepare for runway construction

Construction at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – A lane shift near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will soon go into effect as the $791 million runway expansion project continues.

Crews were laying the groundwork Wednesday for a major lane shift on U.S. 1 to move traffic off the highway so workers can begin building a key component of the new runway -- six tunnels that will carry cars and trains underneath the landing strip.

Workers were pounding into the ground the first of more than 2,600 pilings on which the base, runway, and new tunnel structure will sit.

In the next few weeks, traffic on U.S. 1 will shift to the east, just north of Griffin Road, then switch back over to the main highway just before the airport entrance overpasses.

MAPS: Northbound U.S. 1 to Port Everglades | Airport exit to southbound U.S. 1 | Airport exit to southbound U.S. 1 alternative exit |

"It's not a detour, just a shift of lanes over to the right, and all three lanes both north and southbound will remain open," said Allan Siegel with the Broward County Aviation Department.

The new runway, when it's finished in September 2014, will rise 65-feet above the ground.

About 700 trucks and two trains are hauling in fill to form the six-story runway. All of it is being done in the middle of a busy airport and major highways. Project managers say they will not to disrupt the flow of things too much.

The lane switch is expected to go into effect in a few weeks.