FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami.com) – Drivers on I-595 in Broward County have been battling road construction for months now, but it’s about to get worse. Starting July 5th, construction crews will shut down ramps from anywhere from 20 days to several months.
The first ramps affected will be the westbound S.R. 84 ramp to westbound I-595 at Pine Island Road and the ramp from westbound I-595 to westbound S.R. 84 at Nob Hill Road. The two ramps will be closed simultaneously for approximately 135 days.
It’s an unwelcome surprise to driver Michael Carcone who exits Nob Hill everyday and will have to drive out of his way to get home.
“By the end of the year, with gas money, it will be significant, I’m sure,” said Carcone. ”I don’t like it but once it’s all said and done it will be better because traffic right now in the morning and evening is horrible.”
During the closures, drivers heading west on I-595 will be able to use the Pine Island Road exit (continuing westbound on S.R. 84 to Nob Hill Road) or the Hiatus Road (to U-turn at Hiatus Road and continue eastbound on S.R. 84 to Nob Hill Road).
During these ramp closures workers will install the first braided ramps at Pine Island Road in the westbound direction. Braided ramps are a set of two ramps which separate drivers who are entering and exiting the highway; drivers getting off I-595 will travel on a bridge over drivers getting on.
This type of ramp eliminates the merge condition that currently exists between I-595 and S.R. 84.
This fall the eastbound ramps between Nob Hill and Pine Island roads will close for about seven months and the northbound University Drive ramp to westbound I-595 will be closed for about three weeks.
With her ramp closing, Natasha Smith is trying to figure out her alternate route to get to work.
“I live in Miami and I’m going to have to leave my house a half-hour earlier to get to work on time,” said Smith.
And Elva Siddique, who has a gas station off the Nob Hill ramp that is closing, is concerned if it will wreck her bottom line
“I worry because I depend on the customers where will they go when they close the ramp,” said Siddique.
Construction started on the $1.2 billion I-595 Express Corridor Improvements Project in February 2010. It is scheduled to be completed in March 2014.