For the next two weeks Griffin Drive will be closed at SR-82 due to the road widening project. Yesterday was the first day of that closure, and the effects were felt by motorists trying to exit or drive through Gateway during the dinner-time rush hour.

Two readers of the Gateway Sun wrote on our Facebook page yesterday that at approximately 5:15pm, traffic heading north on Gateway Boulevard was backed up to Next Level Church. Our readers said that it took them between 10 to 15 minutes to get through the traffic back-up.

At 5:40pm, I was driving south on Gateway Boulevard and observed that traffic had backed up even further, to the Gateway Commons Pool. That almost certainly increased the delays by another 5 minutes, give or take.

The Florida Highway Patrol had three vehicles stationed at the intersection of Gateway Boulevard and Griffin Drive. They sat in their cars for a few hours but then got out and seemed to be performing traffic control at around 6:00pm.

Another Sun reader said that some people apparently did not see, or did not believe, the signs about the Griffin Drive closure.

Jake T. wrote: “I live in Magnolia Lakes and I followed and watched no less than 30 cars try to get to 82 obviously not believing the signs saying ‘Griffin Closed use Alt Route’. Car after car after car doing U-turns at Hampton Park entrance next to 82 and heading back to Gateway Boulevard making the traffic issue even worse!”

On the bright side, some motorists seemed to take pity on those trying to get in and out of Stoneybrook.

“I was happy to see people stopping and flashing lights to allow the residents of Stoneybrook to enter and exit. I hope everyone continues to be pleasant,” said Tiffany F. on our Facebook page.

Hopefully motorists will continue to be extra courteous to those entering and leaving Stoneybrook.

While it’s always annoying to have to sit in traffic, adding an extra 10-20 minutes to the commute home for a few weeks isn’t all that terrible. It definitely could be worse.

And like I said, by 6:30pm there was no back-up at all.

Griffin Drive is scheduled to re-open at SR-82 on September 24 at 5:00am.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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