You can drive up Florida Street northbound only between Dauphin and Old Shell, but I wouldn't recommend it. The street is unpaved, bumpy and will make your clean car dirty in a hurry. Construction work to improve storm drainage on Florida was expected to take three weeks. But that was early October; and as we get into mid-December, it's clear that those estimates were seriously wrong.
So what gives? The Mobile City Council asked for an update yesterday, and City Engineer Nick Amberger described the problems (as quoted by al.com):
"What we found when we got into it and excavated and actually got access to the storm drainage system … is a dozen if not 20 sewer laterals and other utilities going through the storm drain system."
Long story short, they had to go back and redesign the project. If only they'd been able to scope things out before getting down there.... not this time. Amberger also told the Council that they'd made it "crystal clear" that the project would take at least a year. So there's that, but not much else in the way of an estimate as to when we can expect to see a paved Florida Street once again.
In the short term, this is another challenge for local businesses.
Callaghan's Irish Social Club has offered a bit of social media help to Butch Cassidy's, the good burger place on Florida. I can't imagine this is good news for the new Publix shopping center, at Old Shell and Florida, either. They're still leasing space, and the Florida Street project could slow it down a bit. Hopefully, we can get Florida moving again in both directions very soon (and with pavement), allowing most of the remaining work to happen without causing too much neighborhood havoc.