The airport's new runway project is missing one key component: A ramp leading directly to southbound Federal Highway.
Hollywood officials, who only recently became aware of that fact, met Friday with county aviation officials to discuss whether there might be another option.
The quick answer: Not before the new $791 million runway at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport opens in September. However, county officials said they would be willing to consider long-term solutions as part of the airport's 20-year master plan.
The old southbound exit was demolished to make way for the new runway and its network of tunnels that allow traffic to flow north and south along U.S. 1 underneath the runway.
A new indirect ramp to southbound U.S. 1 will connect drivers to Northeast Seventh Avenue, where they will continue south to Northeast 10th Street, then head west to U.S. 1 at Griffin Road.
That ramp will be built in the next 60 to 90 days, said Trevor Fisher, director of the Airport Expansion Program.
Hollywood officials were upset they hadn't been told years ago about the plan to get rid of the old ramp.
"You're right," Fisher said. "This is not the time to be having this discussion."
Fisher said the plan to demolish the southbound ramp had been mentioned but not highlighted in a presentation to county officials. But there was no effort to keep city officials in the loop.
Hollywood Commissioner Dick Blattner told the airport officials not to depend on county commissioners to relay vital information back to the cities.
"If that's what you're doing, it's not working," he said.
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