Residents upset by airport's new exit traffic flow

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Thursday night's public hearing in Hollywood happened just a little too late for upset residents living south of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"I guess the question is how did it happen?" asked one resident.

Tough questions were followed by unsatisfying answers.

"Money should be tied to public hearings," said Sen. Eleanor Sobel.

"At no point, it didn't cross anyone's mind to say, you know, 'We should take a second look at this and go through with a fine tooth comb?'" said another resident from the crowd.

Not one person in attendance was happy about the new airport exit ramp, a part of the $1 billion expansion project for southbound drivers.

The access road will be called Ramp G and it will take drivers east to Northeast Seventh Avenue, then south to Northeast 10th Street before heading west to US 1 at Griffin Road.

"The main issue is safety," said Sobel. "The main issue is financial and the other issue is convenience. It's not the most enjoyable experience traveling."

James Cromar, the director of planning for Broward's Metropolitan Planning Organization, didn't knock their concerns. He said based on the constraints of the site that it was the best alternative.

"I agree with the concern of adequate public input into the process and making sure the people affected by the decisions get to have their say, and that, unfortunately, did not happen in this situation," said Cromar.

The airport expansion project and new southbound exit ramp are slated to be open Sept. 18.

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