DAVIE (CBS4) – Drivers on I-595 in Broward County now have a new construction headache — ramp closures.
The state’s Department of Transportation said long-term ramp closures could last for anywhere from 20 days to several months.
The first ramps were shut down Tuesday night. Drivers can no longer use the ramp from S.R. 84 to westbound I-595 at Pine Island Road and the ramp from westbound I-595 to S.R. 84 at Nob Hill Road.
The two ramps will be closed simultaneously for approximately 135 days.
Signs on the highway announced the closure, but it still caught some drivers off-guard. Less than two hours before the ramp closed, Sharon Nizri didn’t realize regular route will have to change.
“I had no clue,” she said when we told her about the ramp closures. “It’s going to make my life very difficult.”
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).
Many who live in Davie say the detours will add time to their commute. Sara Levi, of Davie, says it will now take her a ”very, very long time to get everywhere.”
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.
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.