Palm Beach businesses prepare for closure of Flagler Memorial Bridge for 6 months

PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Flagler Memorial Bridge has closed for six months to complete construction work.

Share your experiences with the closing here or tweet using the hashtag #flaglerbridge

Town leaders have created an action plan which they hope will keep operations on the island running smoothly until the route reopens.

The town has urged business owners to consider a stagger schedule for employees to vary the times they come to work and leave work. They hope that could ease congestion during rush hour.

Additionally, officials hope it will help keep roads as clear as possible for emergency responders.

Palm Beach Fire Rescue says it has designated three new landing locations for the Trauma Hawk and will be using it more frequently for non-trauma, but life-threatening emergencies. There are now a total of six landing locations on the island.

Additionally, fire rescue will be able for the first time to use Opticom Systems, which allows them to change traffic lights to green while in route to an emergency.

Carlisha Shaw is a manager at Sprinkles Ice Cream on Palm Beach, and leaves work everyday during rush hour.

"If I leave 15 minutes after 4 p.m., there is already a line … that's with the bridge open," Shaw said.

She hasn't arranged for employees schedules to change just yet, but will make changes if she sees a need.

"We'll see. All I need to see is one time," said Shaw.

Transportation officials are also encouraging people to carpool when possible.

Click here to view the entire action plan, including evacuation procedures, alternate routes and draw bridge schedules.

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