Police prepare for Urban Beach Weekend

200K tourists expected for Memorial Day weekend in South Beach

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - The first round of tourists for Urban Beach Week arrived Thursday morning.

The city estimates 200,000 people will make their way to South Beach through Memorial Day. Officers patrolled Ocean Drive ahead of road closures on Friday.

The Miami Beach Police Department says 400 officers will be on the streets at night.

"Everyone who is going to be here for the weekend is typically here by Saturday," said Detective Vivian Hernandez. 

Police will have a DUI checkpoint as well as license plate readers on the MacArthur Causeway. Scanners will also record tags on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

Drivers will only be allowed to drive north and south on Washington Avenue and Collins Avenue. The traffic loop begins on 5th Street and runs through 23rd Street.

The east and west streets between Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive will be restricted. Only residents with the proper zone decals will be allowed to enter.

Starting at 7 a.m. Friday morning, Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th Streets will be shut down to vehicular traffic. They will reopen at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

READ: Memorial Day weekend traffic plan on South Beach |

"This is not my first time here, but it's my first Memorial Day weekend, so I hear a lot of good things about it," said Keisha Major.

Officers will also have a new, high-tech tool to keep tourists safe. The police department has on loan a $140,000 all-terrain vehicle used in the military. The vehicle can detect body heat nearly a mile away.

Officers will use it at night on the beach.

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