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Road closures near condo collapse site create dangerous situation in Surfside

“We had a little girl that came close to being hit by a car the other day,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “It’s enough someone is going to die.”

SURFSIDE, Fla. – Lane closures near the site of the Surfside condo collapse have led to a traffic nightmare in the town’s residential neighborhoods.

Residents fear that if it’s not fixed soon, someone could be seriously hurt or killed.

“Absolutely, it’s only a matter of time,” said Mark Slatko, who has lived in Surfside for 25 years. “Something needs to be done because someone’s gonna get hurt. My understanding is that a block away yesterday a cat ran out and got hit. There’s no let-up of traffic. It’s constant.”

Slatko shot video with a drone. One clip shows an 18-wheeler winding up on someone’s property. That 18-wheeler came up on a side street because it’s one of the only ways into the town.

Collins Avenue has been shut down in this area since the Champlain Towers South collapse on June 24.

Now that work is complete at that site, some residents are asking why Collins is still shut down.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett is also concerned.

“We had a little girl that came close to being hit by a car the other day,” he said. “It’s enough someone is going to die.”

[ALSO SEE: Beach park seen as site for Surfside condo collapse memorial]

So what can be done?

Burkett says he has reached out to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava to try to get at least one lane opened on Collins.

“Our experts say it can be safely opened,” Burkett said. “That was conveyed to the county. ... Our residents can’t take it anymore.”

Local 10 News reached out to Mayor Levine Cava for comment and received the following response:

“We are working very closely with the town of Surfside, FEMA, law enforcement, and all our partners to ensure the section of Collins Avenue adjacent to the site of the collapse is safe before we open it up for traffic. It was the town’s own engineer who raised concerns that the site wall was at risk of collapse which could lead to the caving in of Collins Ave, and we have taken all necessary action to protect the safety of residents and visitors by undertaking shoring and bracing of the wall. Our teams are working as hard as possible to open the street as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.