Downtown Miami prepares for busy weekend
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Downtown Miami is preparing for a busy weekend, as thousands are expected to take part in different events around the Magic City.
Friday morning, officials closed the northbound lanes of Biscayne Boulevard between Northeast First Avenue and Fourth Street.
Officials are warning drivers and residents to expect delays around Downtown Miami. It's the second weekend of Ultra Music Festival, and this time the festival has company.
Drivers are all ready seeing lane closures. Whether they are here to dance or to cheer on the Heat, one thing that everyone entering Downtown Miami will be doing is sitting in their cars for hours. "It's gonna be tough, so we're going to take an alternate route," said Laura McDowell.
The Miami Heat will be playing on Friday and Sunday at the American Airlines Arena, just north of Ultra's Bayfront Park location, where 20,000 fans are expected to cheer them on.
And, the AAA is not catching a break, Alicia Keys will perform in concert on Saturday and will have R&B fans sharing the road with electronic music revelers. "This weekend it's going to be worse than last weekend. Probably take me two hours to get about eight blocks," said resident Diana Caicedo.
Also, the Adrienne Arsht Center has a weekend performance of Fela! starring Michelle Williams. "We expect a lot more traffic, so we encourage everyone to gear themselves through public transportation," said Miami Police spokesperson Kenia Reyes.
Officers in the surrounding area will direct traffic as needed. Miami police advise drivers to be patient or pay the price. "If you decide to commit a traffic violation you will be cited," said Reyes.
The heavy traffic is expected to flow into Key Biscayne as tennis fans will be showing up for the Sony Ericsson Open.
Metrorail and Metromover are extending service during this event-filled weekend to accommodate the large crowds. Both will run until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Officials also said more Metromover cars will be running on the Omni Loop for the Miami Heat games and the Alicia Keys concert.
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