HEAVY TRAFFIC ANTICIPATED DURING FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office expects Fourth of July traffic to be very heavy throughout the Florida Keys — on and off the water — starting this week.

Traffic enforcement deputies will be on the roads watching for impatient and unsafe drivers. Don’t pass in no-passing zones or in center turn lanes or you are likely to get a ticket. If you plan to drive anywhere in or out of the county, make sure you plan extra time for your trip.

Expect back-ups and delays from the 18-Mile Stretch to Key West. As of Friday afternoon, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported heavy traffic backups through Islamorada.

Traffic near Snake Creek Bridge was stopped for a period of time during the late morning of Friday, July 1 to allow a road crew to conduct maintenance on the bridge. DAVID GROSS/Keys Weekly

Also, if you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to designate a sober driver — for your car or your boat — to make sure you get home safely. The sheriff’s office will have extra deputies on the water as well in an effort to keep mariners safe. Be patient and courteous at sandbars, other gathering areas and especially at marinas and boat ramps. They are expected to be very busy. Again, plan ahead and give yourself extra time.

Please leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Discard trash properly, in a trash can or a recycling container. It isn’t fair to leave it on the ground or in the water for someone else to clean up and you could be charged with littering.

There will be a parade in Key Largo on July 4 that is expected to cause traffic congestion. Northbound traffic will be temporarily closed at Mile Marker 99 from 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. All traffic will then be diverted into southbound lanes starting at 9:45 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours. The highway will return to normal by 1 p.m. at the latest. Avoid traveling through that area between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you have to travel through that area during those times, plan extra time and expect slowdowns.

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