DAVIE (CBS4) – “It’s hell,” exclaimed one driver who travels I-595.
That about sums up driver attitude about the I-595 Express construction project with its 13 miles of confusing congestion, overloaded traffic, disappearing exit ramps… concrete barriers that suddenly engulf drivers on both sides… shrinking signage and snaking, shifting lanes.
“The congestion, the traffic…. believe me I don’t use it,” said a man filling up his car with gas.
While the project is intended to make the East-West Broward commute easier, faster and smoother… it is currently anything but.
Camila Pinzon shared her horror story. “Yeah. Like once we were going up to Tampa and there were cones that blocked off an exit… and then we ended up having to go down through Miami and going back up.”
So we asked Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky to give us a tour of 595, and explain why this road is such torture for some drivers.
“You know you have a sign it says Davie Road 3 miles, so you have plenty of time if you’re paying attention,” Wysocky informed us.
Just one problem: we weren’t looking for Davie Road. We wanted the University Exit Eastbound and had just passed it.
CBS4′s Vanessa Borge asked Sgt. Wysocky, ”Like right now, we’re behind a big truck and if there’s an exit coming up, it’s kind of hard to see where my exit is coming if there’s a lane change because of construction.”
“Well I mean they have them posted,” responded Wysocky.
According to F-H-P, I-595 Express reported 1,200 car wrecks in 2010 and 1,300 in 2011. That’s roughly 100 accidents a month.
Borge pressed Wysocky. “I mean on average I would say in the morning I talk about 3 to 4 accidents on 595 a day!”
“Right,” he said.
Borge continued. “Right! So that would mean all those accidents are due to the construction?”
“Well not necessarily,” Wysocky said. “Like most crashes I mean it’s not basically the roadway. The majority of the crashes are because of driver error.”
That’s right drivers. Despite of the earth moving equipment that is constantly changing your lanes, exits, signs and utter darkness…
“At night there’s no lights coming off University and you can get into an accident,” a woman pointed out.
All those crashes on I-595 are your fault.
Sgt. Wysocky explained. “You know whether they’re going too fast, following too closely, improper lane changes and things like that. But it’s just that people have to pay attention to what they’re doing and they’re not distracted, not on their cell phones or whatever else they’re doing in the car. We know it’s under construction… people need to be paying attention.”
The construction is going to widen 595 and create reversible commuter lanes Eastbound during the morning rush hour… westbound in the evening. The good news: the project is currently on schedule to be completed in 2014.