As Port tunnel work starts, don’t you wish they could widen the approach to the Venetian toll?

The Venetian Causeway on Biscayne Island.

Work in preparation for the Port of Miami tunnel construction started Monday afternoon on the MacArthur Causeway, a years-long project that promises congestion aplenty for South Beach residents with a substantial impact on the Venetian Causeway.

The opening phase really has to do with adding temporary lanes on Watson Island before they really get working, and it won’t have a huge impact on traffic. But the long haul for this project will turn lots of short hauls into those slow-moving commutes that we all know and don’t so much love.

And, of course, the Memorial Day Weekend crowds will slow the causeway commute for everyone.

The thought of it makes Belle Isle Blog wish for the a solution it wants every time there is a big event on Miami Beach: A wider approach west-to-east to the Venetian Causeway toll booths.

If you live on Belle Isle or any of the other Venetian islands, you know why. It’s happened to you. We’ll all live it during the busy Memorial Day weekend, when traffic gets heavy and visitors decide they’ll pay the toll to cross the Venetian quicker than crawling across the traffic-crushed MacArthur.

You’ll have your C-pass ready to cross the tollbooth. And the C-Pass lane will be empty. But because the road approaching the toll isn’t wide enough, you are trapped behind all the cars using the one open toll booth, unable to get around to the empty C-pass lane.

The problem is they can’t widen the approach if traffic backs up all the way to the bridge. But there HAS to be a way to fix this.

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