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Front Page » Transportation » Your Roadmap to Highway Changes

Your Roadmap to Highway Changes

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Written by on June 27, 2013

In a county in which 97% of people use a vehicle and 300,000 cars are on state roads 826 or 836 at any given point during the day, no wonder major reconstructions are needed from time to time.

Major highway construction projects taking place in Miami-Dade for the past five years continue to roll forward.

The largest now under way is the 826-836 interchange, a reconstruction that began in 2009. It’s managed by the Florida Department of Transportation District Six in partnership with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. They’re navigating reconstruction of the Palmetto Expressway (826) and the Dolphin Expressway (836).

That work runs from just north of Southwest Eighth Street to Northwest 25th Street on 826, and east of Northwest 87th Avenue to Northwest 57th Avenue on 836. Oscar Gonzalez, the project’s spokesperson, estimates it will be done in the fall of 2015.

The main goal is to cut travel time, to improve links between the two state roads and smooth driving.

“We’re more than doubling the capacity of the number of lanes, from 42 miles of lanes to more than 95,” Mr. Gonzalez said.

Of the 45 new bridges the project includes, 12 have already opened. Four will be segmental bridges and a pair will make up different levels in the construction. The first two are done: one already opened in January on eastbound 836 to north 826. The second one that has been constructed will open to traffic in September or October, on westbound 836 to southbound 826, as Mr. Gonzalez explained.

“The project is about 70% complete. We’ve already shifted eastbound traffic on 836 temporarily to… new roads through in order to open up space to build additional roads and bridges. Drivers should expect more traffic shifts on 826 and 836 in the coming months,” said Mr. Gonzalez.

On that note, the 826/836 Interchange Project is the biggest for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority right now, said Javier Rodriguez, executive director.

However, the authority has two other ongoing road projects.

One is to improve the entrance and exit of the Miami International Airport. The changes will separate commercial from passenger traffic by adding service roads for commercial vehicles.

That project will also trim congestion and ease airport traffic, the authority said. The work is a partnership with the state, Mr. Rodriguez said, with each investing $25 million. The authority, he said, decided to invest in the work and oversee it due to the importance of the airport and seaport and the movement of people and goods. It’s to be completed by year’s end.

The authority is also overseeing construction of the final stretch of SR 874/Don Shula Expressway that began in the fall of 2011. The mainline improvements from Southwest 88th Street/Kendall Drive to 826/Palmetto Expressway will be adding capacity by adding an additional lane southbound and northbound from 826 to Southwest 88th Street.

After a cost of $50 million, completion is also expected by the end of 2013.

The State Road 874 Ramp Connector is under study but could start within a year. Its purpose is to evaluate the potential of a new ramp connection from the existing southern terminus of SR 874/Don Shula Expressway to Southwest 127th Avenue.

This project would provide an alternative link to areas west of the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike and surrounding local roadways by providing access to and from SR 874.

“More than 850,000 people would be benefited from this work,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

Another important project the authority will be starting in the next two months will be reconstruction of the toll plaza at 17th Avenue, by Marlins Park, as Mr. Rodriguez and Alfred Lurigados, authority director of engineering, explained. Right now the plaza only collects tolls eastbound. But the authority has started work to add a westbound toll.

The biggest impact the community will see now is the closing of cash lanes, they said. Traffic will all go through the SunPass lanes. Drivers who don’t have a SunPass account will pay toll-by-plate “so the contractors can start the structure,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

Mr. Lurigados said that by year’s end people will see more demolition and reconstruction. “By next summer it will be up and running.”

The construction contract has been awarded and preliminary work has begun, he said, but the actual shifting of traffic will start July 26, when the authority will stop accepting cash for tolls.

The 95 Express Project, which runs from just south of I-195/SR 112 to just south of SR 860/Miami Gardens Drive, started in February 2008. The project, a partnership between state transportation department and transit departments of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, South Florida Commuter Services and Florida Turnpike Enterprise, included building two High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-95 in place of the existing High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes. Open Road Tolling and various Intelligent Transportation System components are included in this project. Construction on the Phase 2 of 95 Express began in November 2011.

Phase 2 construction should last about three years total, with completion expected in 2014, and cost an estimated $106 million. This phase is extending the existing express lanes north from the Golden Glades Interchange in Miami-Dade County to Broward Boulevard in Broward County by converting the existing High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to two express lanes in each direction.

As part of the second phase, work now under way includes installing Intelligent Transportation System components, which means traffic monitoring cameras and overhead signboards.

“We still have signs that we are using, but they’ll be upgraded,” said Barbara Kelleher, public information director in District Four of the Florida Department of Transportation. The contractor is doing this work behind barrier walls during the daytime with no impact to traffic, she said.

Another element of this phase is bridge widening on Hollywood Boulevard, Stirling Road in Broward County and over the Snake Creek Canal in Miami-Dade.

Nighttime lane closures on local streets will be from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Entrance and exit ramps are closed some nights.

Bridge widening at Hallandale Beach Boulevard is expected to begin later in 2013.

Installation of new noise walls between Hollywood Boulevard and Taft Street on the east side, and roadwork on Ives Dairy Road interchange are finished.

Next phases, still being studied, would extend the High Occupancy Toll lanes from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton.

On a related project, the final segment of I-595 Corridor Improvements is under way on Florida’s Turnpike. It began in 2011 with construction of ground-mounted sound barriers along the Turnpike both north and south of I-595. Widening of the Turnpike both northbound and southbound is ongoing, as is work on bridges and ramps in the interchange. Ms. Kelleher estimates completion by February 2014.

Your Roadmap To Highway Changes

Written by on June 27, 2013

By Vanessa Zambrano
In a county in which 97% of people use a vehicle and 300,000 cars are on state roads 826 or 836 at any given point during the day, no wonder major reconstructions are needed from time to time.

Major highway construction projects taking place in Miami-Dade for the past five years continue to roll forward.

The largest now under way is the 826-836 interchange, a reconstruction that began in 2009. It’s managed by the Florida Department of Transportation District Six in partnership with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. They’re navigating reconstruction of the Palmetto Expressway (826) and the Dolphin Expressway (836).

That work runs from just north of Southwest Eighth Street to Northwest 25th Street on 826, and east of Northwest 87th Avenue to Northwest 57th Avenue on 836. Oscar Gonzalez, the project’s spokesperson, estimates it will be done in the fall of 2015.

The main goal is to cut travel time, to improve links between the two state roads and smooth driving.

"We’re more than doubling the capacity of the number of lanes, from 42 miles of lanes to more than 95," Mr. Gonzalez said.

Of the 45 new bridges the project includes, 12 have already opened. Four will be segmental bridges and a pair will make up different levels in the construction. The first two are done: one already opened in January on eastbound 836 to north 826. The second one that has been constructed will open to traffic in September or October, on westbound 836 to southbound 826, as Mr. Gonzalez explained.

"The project is about 70% complete. We’ve already shifted eastbound traffic on 836 temporarily to… new roads through in order to open up space to build additional roads and bridges. Drivers should expect more traffic shifts on 826 and 836 in the coming months," said Mr. Gonzalez.

On that note, the 826/836 Interchange Project is the biggest for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority right now, said Javier Rodriguez, executive director.

However, the authority has two other ongoing road projects.

One is to improve the entrance and exit of the Miami International Airport. The changes will separate commercial from passenger traffic by adding service roads for commercial vehicles.

That project will also trim congestion and ease airport traffic, the authority said. The work is a partnership with the state, Mr. Rodriguez said, with each investing $25 million. The authority, he said, decided to invest in the work and oversee it due to the importance of the airport and seaport and the movement of people and goods. It’s to be completed by year’s end.

The authority is also overseeing construction of the final stretch of SR 874/Don Shula Expressway that began in the fall of 2011. The mainline improvements from Southwest 88th Street/Kendall Drive to 826/Palmetto Expressway will be adding capacity by adding an additional lane southbound and northbound from 826 to Southwest 88th Street.

After a cost of $50 million, completion is also expected by the end of 2013.

The State Road 874 Ramp Connector is under study but could start within a year. Its purpose is to evaluate the potential of a new ramp connection from the existing southern terminus of SR 874/Don Shula Expressway to Southwest 127th Avenue.

This project would provide an alternative link to areas west of the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike and surrounding local roadways by providing access to and from SR 874.

"More than 850,000 people would be benefited from this work," Mr. Rodriguez said.

Another important project the authority will be starting in the next two months will be reconstruction of the toll plaza at 17th Avenue, by Marlins Park, as Mr. Rodriguez and Alfred Lurigados, authority director of engineering, explained. Right now the plaza only collects tolls eastbound. But the authority has started work to add a westbound toll.

The biggest impact the community will see now is the closing of cash lanes, they said. Traffic will all go through the SunPass lanes. Drivers who don’t have a SunPass account will pay toll-by-plate "so the contractors can start the structure," Mr. Rodriguez said.

Mr. Lurigados said that by year’s end people will see more demolition and reconstruction. "By next summer it will be up and running."

The construction contract has been awarded and preliminary work has begun, he said, but the actual shifting of traffic will start July 26, when the authority will stop accepting cash for tolls.

The 95 Express Project, which runs from just south of I-195/SR 112 to just south of SR 860/Miami Gardens Drive, started in February 2008. The project, a partnership between state transportation department and transit departments of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, South Florida Commuter Services and Florida Turnpike Enterprise, included building two High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-95 in place of the existing High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes. Open Road Tolling and various Intelligent Transportation System components are included in this project. Construction on the Phase 2 of 95 Express began in November 2011.

Phase 2 construction should last about three years total, with completion expected in 2014, and cost an estimated $106 million. This phase is extending the existing express lanes north from the Golden Glades Interchange in Miami-Dade County to Broward Boulevard in Broward County by converting the existing High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to two express lanes in each direction.

As part of the second phase, work now under way includes installing Intelligent Transportation System components, which means traffic monitoring cameras and overhead signboards.

"We still have signs that we are using, but they’ll be upgraded," said Barbara Kelleher, public information director in District Four of the Florida Department of Transportation. The contractor is doing this work behind barrier walls during the daytime with no impact to traffic, she said.

Another element of this phase is bridge widening on Hollywood Boulevard, Stirling Road in Broward County and over the Snake Creek Canal in Miami-Dade.

Nighttime lane closures on local streets will be from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.  Entrance and exit ramps are closed some nights.

Bridge widening at Hallandale Beach Boulevard is expected to begin later in 2013.

Installation of new noise walls between Hollywood Boulevard and Taft Street on the east side, and roadwork on Ives Dairy Road interchange are finished.

Next phases, still being studied, would extend the High Occupancy Toll lanes from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton.

On a related project, the final segment of I-595 Corridor Improvements is under way on Florida’s Turnpike. It began in 2011 with construction of ground-mounted sound barriers along the Turnpike both north and south of I-595. Widening of the Turnpike both northbound and southbound is ongoing, as is work on bridges and ramps in the interchange. Ms. Kelleher estimates completion by February 2014. To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.

www.miamitodayepaper.com
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