Major road closure begins in Palm Bay



PALM BAY, Fla. - Starting Monday night, a major road project will close a section of Palm Bay Road that's frequently used by drivers trying to get to Interstate 95.

Those closure will go into effect Monday at 10 p.m. Palm Bay Road will be closed between Minton Road and Norfolk Parkway so crews can repair a damaged storm water pipe.

The city has been working to install signs warning of the closure in several areas along Palm Bay Road.

Many residents told Eyewitness News they were unaware the closure was going to last for weeks.

"I didnt know it was going to be for nine weeks, I thought just a couple days," Joseph Paul said. "I'm avoiding it all together."

WFTV found out residential areas will bear the brunt of the traffic detours until June.

"I know we are going to get a lot, lot more traffic," homeowner Peter Dolci said.

The storm water drain that needs to be fixed spans both directions of Palm Bay Road, passing underneath the roadway. Public Works said the problem needs to be fixed immediately because the road is already starting to dip.

"With a severe rain storm, we'd be dealing with potential flooding to the businesses and homes in the area and it would be pretty significant," said spokesman Don Walker.

The detour through Norfolk Parkway is one of the side roads that will be jammed Tuesday with drivers trying to get around the closure.

Marilyn Schiff is already figuring her 10-minute drive will take her up to 45 minutes.

"It's going to be a nightmare," she said. "They don't realize what it's going to do to all of us."

Schiff said she hopes other drivers passing through her neighborhood will have the courtesy to share the road.

"People are going to have to be a little giving to let residents out," she said.

Public Works crews have put in a temporary fix in place to make sure the detour road isn’t affected. It should hold in the meantime while a permanent solution is put in place, officials said. 

The county is urging drivers to consider other alternate routes on top of Norfolk Parkway because traffic will be slow with all cars and trucks being diverted off of Palm Bay Road.