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Gridlock? Four major Miami events to tie up traffic

Expect a traffic nightmare on Thursday.No matter where you are in the Miami area, you’re bound to be tied up by several major events.What’s going on? President Barack Obama is coming to town to speak at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.The Heat is playing the ‘Linsanity’ New York Knicks downtown.Cavalia’s horses are galloping into Bicentennial park.And the South Beach Wine & Food Festival frenzy gets started in at the Delano in Miami Beach.So you’ll need a little more patience than usual. And we all know that’s hard for a Miami driver.Breathe. Turn up the car A/C. Listen to some jazz. And stay away from the madness if you don’t need to be in the packed traffic zones.You’ll need all the zen and street smart you can get to deal with what could be gridlock Thrusday afternoon and evening throughout South Florida, including Interstate 95, State Road 836, U.S. 1 and Collins Avenue. Here are the details on what areas will most likely put you in bumper-to-bumper traffic. •  Coral Gables, Pinecrest, highways to and from Miami International Airport: Obama will speak at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of Miami’s BankUnited in Coral Gables, 1245 Dauer Dr. After his speech, Obama is scheduled to attend a fundraising reception at the Biltmore Hotel in the Gables and later at a Pinecrest home. Drivers in the Coral Gables area should expect delays Thursday afternoon while Obama is in town and moving between locations. Delays also can be expected around Miami International Airport due to the president’s arrival and departure and roving lane closings. It is unknown what route Obama will take. •  Bicentennial Park: The horses are coming. And so are roadblocks around the downtown Miami Park as the 74 stars of the equine production “Odysseo” arrive downtown to take their places at the big top, 1075 Biscayne Blvd. . Cavalia, a Cirque de Soleil- type production, will be transporting the horses from Ocala to Bicentennial Park Thursday afternoon, ahead of the Feb. 29 Miami premiere. • AmericanAirlines Arena “Linsanity” will continue Thursday night at 7 p.m. at AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd. when the Heat takes on the Knicks. The game is expected to end before 10:30, when thousands of fans will once again hit downtown streets to head home. • South Beach: The South Beach Food & Wine festival starts with The Q near Lincoln Road. The festivities get started in the early evening at an event expected to attract more than 50,000 guests from around the world to sip wine and nibble food from celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri. If you don’t need to be in the area, stay away from the Delano hotel, 1685 Collins Ave.

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