MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There is a big change coming to two heavily traveled South Florida highways.
Starting Monday morning at dawn, the traffic pattern from the Dolphin Expressway to the Palmetto Expressway in Miami-Dade will have a much different route.
It specifically affects westbound drivers on the Dolphin Expressway/State Road 836 who want to get onto the Palmetto Expressway.
Currently, drivers on westbound 836 who wish to enter southbound Palmetto/State Road 826 have two options: take the left lane flyover that deposits vehicles onto the left lane of southbound Palmetto just south of Flagler Street or stay to the right and take a loop ramp that puts vehicles into the right lane of the Palmetto just north of Flagler.
As of Monday, there will be only one option to go from westbound 836 to the Southbound Palmetto because the flyover will be closed and eventually demolished.
The right lane of westbound 836 will no longer take vehicles to the loop ramp to the southbound Palmetto.
Instead, westbound drivers on 836 who want to go south or north on the Palmetto will have to exit earlier, at the 72nd Avenue/ Palmetto ramp immediately after Northwest 57th Ave., and then take a new road that runs parallel to 836. That new road will give drivers access to the northbound Palmetto and the loop ramp to the southbound Palmetto.
“The biggest thing is: if drivers miss this 72nd avenue ramp, they will not be able to get access to the northbound or southbound ramps because that corridor is going be separated by barrier walls,” warned Oscar Gonzales of the Florida Department of Transportation.
FDOT officials said the change is likely to further tangle traffic at the busy junction.
The increased congestion is expected to last at least two weeks, until people become accustomed to the changes.
The overhaul of the interchange is part of a comprehensive project that began in November 2009. It is expected to be completed in September 2015 at a cost of $560 million.
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