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Front Page » Transportation » Lockdown let state accelerate massive I-395 project

Lockdown let state accelerate massive I-395 project

Written by on May 26, 2020
Lockdown let state accelerate massive I-395 project

The dramatic drop in traffic on Miami’s streets and freeways resulting from the health crisis has allowed the state transportation department to accelerate the progress on the I-395/SR 836/I-95 Design-Build Project.

Two months ago, on a directive of the governor, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced the speeding up of several critical infrastructure projects, including the I-395 project and its Signature Bridge in the heart of downtown.

Local stay-at-home orders and economic shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led to lower traffic volumes, giving road workers a golden opportunity to close lanes and kick construction into high gear.

The goal was to advance the project by one month and this week the FDOT reports that goal has been achieved.

“The expanded lane closure hours have allowed the contractor to increase production and expedite the concrete replacement phase of the project by approximately four weeks,” said Oscar Gonzalez III, senior community outreach specialist, in an email to Miami Today on Tuesday.

In late April, FDOT and the I-395/SR 836/I-95 Design-Build contractor, Archer Western – de Moya Joint Venture, completed the concrete pavement replacement on three inside southbound lanes on I-95 between Northwest 20th and 29th streets, utilizing three lane continuous (24/7) closures during this period of lower traffic volumes, Mr. Gonzalez said.

In early May, he said, the contractor implemented a continuous single lane closure between Northwest 11th and 20th streets and double lane closures from Northwest 20th to 29th streets on northbound I-95 to replace the concrete pavement on three inside lanes. The northbound continuous lane closures were in place for about 10 days.

Mr. Gonzalez said continuous lane closures were also recently used along eastbound SR 836 from Northwest 12th Avenue to I-95 and on the Northwest 12th Avenue ramp to eastbound SR 836 to expedite replacement of existing concrete pavement with asphalt.

The $802 million project is funded by a partnership of the state transportation department ($616 million) and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority ($186 million).

The work includes the “Signature Bridge” over Northeast Second Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard, an upper deck of traffic built over SR 836 and the Miami River, and the addition of one lane to the northbound entrance to I-95.

“The contractor does not anticipate additional multi-lane continuous closures at this time but will continue to implement extended lane closure hours. Lane closures will be adjusted as needed based on actual traffic volumes,” wrote Mr. Gonzalez.

Under normal traffic conditions, the contractor removes the existing concrete slabs, prepares the roadway base for the new concrete, places the new concrete, performs joint cuts and allows the concrete to cure between 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., he explained.

On SR 836, the contractor shifted eastbound and westbound traffic to create a new work zone. The contractor is performing foundation work for bridge widening along Northwest 17th avenue and Northwest 10th Avenue and removing the center bridge deck from Northwest 13th to 17th avenues in order to begin foundation work for the new double decked section of SR 836 in July.

“There are ongoing day and night operations on I-395 including the installation of Auger Cast Piles (ACP) for the center pier foundation of the signature bridge. The center pier foundation alone will have a total of 128 ACPs. The contractor is also working on the ACP foundations for the eastbound and westbound local connector road bridges,” he wrote.

“Approximately 340 ACPs have been installed to date. Bridge support columns are also being constructed, with a total of nine completed and many others in different phases of completion. The contractor is also working on removing existing sections of I-395 to open up additional areas for foundation work,” Mr. Gonzalez said.

Preliminary work began on the I-395/SR 836/I-95 Design-Build Project in December 2018, with full-on construction starting in early 2019. Anticipated completion is fall 2024.

2 Responses to Lockdown let state accelerate massive I-395 project

  1. Antonio Alfonso

    May 27, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    We can see the people that are running the show at city hall have nothing in their heads but bubbles . here we have an expansion of the expressway and a signature bridge that will probably under neon lights for maybe a year before they start breaking down and the city then will claim they have no money to fix it ( case in point the Claude Pepper fountain and the laser tower at Bay front park ) no money to get it fixed it neither structure has worked for over a decade. Then we needed a one billion dollar tunnel. have you ever gone through it its almost always empty. and of course now the 800 million dollar signature bridge. Why can the city leaders take that money and build rapid transit to the west or to the north !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now that is needed to help half of the population in Miami Dade County move around but no there is no money for that. What we need to do is go to the Government Center and fire all the commissioners all they do is steal money and approve contracts and get kickbacks. I have lived here all my life and cant wait to retire to leave this God forsaken place. We just now had torrential rains for the last three days and Brickell Avenue was under water can you imagine if a hurricane hits us straight on we dont have the resources to pull out of something like that God forbids it ever were to happen . Like Time Magazine said once PARADISE LOST WELCOME TO THE BANANA REPUBLIC.

    • Richard Schuchts

      June 2, 2020 at 11:54 am

      Clearly you do not understand how road projects work. This has nothing to do with teh City of Miami. Or Miami Dade County. The is the State of Florida Department of Transportation doing this work. Because it is a state road that needed to be replaced.

      Having facts before ranting would go a long way to being persuasive in the goal of expanded rail service, a goal I share.