MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Good news for drivers who have had to face the battle of traffic on I-595.
A portion of the $1.2 billion renovation project that will open more lanes on the road may be completed sooner than expected. Those who are anticipating the new reversible lanes will have to wait just a bit longer.
The crews have sped up the construction process, so that the highway can be ready by December 30, three months ahead of schedule, road project officials told the Sun Sentinel.
Construction crews on average will produce $20 million of construction every month for the rest of the year until completion.
When finished, three to five lanes will be open in each direction along with secondary lanes for merging. The reconstruction will also add new bridges and ramps.
By early 2014, officials say that the highway will include three reversible toll lanes that will carry traffic east to Fort Lauderdale in the morning and west to the suburbs in the afternoon, making them the first reversible lanes in South Florida.
Starting Monday, traffic lanes east of Davie Road approaching Florida’s Turnpike will be shifted in order to place the two new ramp bridges that will connect the new reversible lanes directly to the turnpike.
In February a new ramp to the southbound turnpike will be opened with the ramp that comes from eastbound I-595 realigned to meet it. On February 3rd drivers who usually take the westbound on-ramp from S.R. 84, just west of Flamingo Road, will have to find an alternative route for the month; during this time a new off-ramp to 136th Avenue will be built just west of Flamingo.
Three months from then, the eastbound on- and off-ramps at Hiatus Road will closed and new ramps will be built at Hiatus and Nob Hill roads, where both roads will eventually share the same off-ramp.
A new westbound off-ramp starting at University Drive and going to Pine Island Road will open later this year as well.
A new park-and-ride lot will also be available to the public, which will serve the new 595 Express buses and a shuttle that runs to Nova Southeastern University and other schools in Davie.
Workers are hoping that the project will go as planned, but weather conditions could slow down the reconstruction.
“It will be tight,” Ed Perez of The Corradino Group, which coordinated the design and construction, told the paper. “Everything has to fall into place.”
The state used private financing to speed up construction, which took the job down from 15 to 20 years to complete to just five.
For the first time since I-595 was built in the ’80s, drivers can travel on S.R. 84 in both directions without having to jump on I-595 thanks to the stretch of eastbound S.R. 84 opened between Davie Road and S.R. 7 in December.
“It’s amazing they’ve been able to keep traffic moving with all of the construction going on right next to it,” Tom Patterson of Plantation told the paper.