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Major Road Closures Begin Thursday For Dolphin, Palmetto Expressways

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Drivers on the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) are in for some major changes to their commute over the next couple of days.

Drivers who use the SR 836/826 interchange say they want just one thing. .

“For it to be over,” said Aideyos Hernandez who has to use the interchange on almost a daily basis. “It’s a bother when you are trying to get to work or school. It’s hard.”

Things are expected to ease up a bit once the new ramp opens on Monday. Before that, however, drivers will have to deal with a number of closures.

“In preparation for the opening of the new northbound 826 to eastbound 836 ramp, this evening (Thursday night) we are going to start by closing the ramp from W Flagler Street to northbound 826,” said Dept. of Transportation spokesman Oscar Gonzalez.

Approximately 100 street signs will be used to help drivers navigate this weekend’s closures and detours.

“In a nutshell, to make it simple for drivers that are coming to the Palmetto from SW 8th Street or Flagler, they should give themselves a little bit of extra time to get to their destination,” said Gonzalez.

Over the weekend drivers need to be aware of the following closures and detours which will impacting the Flagler and SW 8th street ramps.

The following closures will begin Thursday night, April 11, 2013:

10 p.m., Thursday, April 11 through 5 a.m., Monday, April 15 – The northbound entrance ramp from West Flagler Street to northbound SR 826 will be closed.

Drivers on West Flagler Street going north on SR 826 can:

  • Continue on the new ramp to NW 72 Avenue, turn left
  • Enter westbound SR 836 and access the northbound SR 826 ramp

Drivers on West Flagler Street going east on SR 836 can:

  • Continue on the new ramp to NW 72 Avenue
  • Go straight through NW 72 Avenue to access eastbound SR 836 ramp

Drivers on West Flagler Street going west on SR 836 can:

  • Continue on the ramp to NW 72 Avenue, turn left
  • Enter the westbound SR 836 ramp

11 p.m., Friday, April 12 through 5 a.m., Monday, April 15 – The eastbound and westbound SW 8 Street ramps to northbound SR 826 will be closed.

Eastbound drivers on SW 8 Street going north on SR 826 can:

  • Continue eastbound to SW 57 Avenue, turn north
  • Enter westbound SR 836 and access the northbound SR 826 ramp

Eastbound drivers on SW 8 Street going east on SR 836 can:

  • Continue eastbound to SW 57 Avenue, turn north
  • Enter the eastbound SR 836 ramp

Eastbound drivers on SW 8 Street going west on SR 836 can:

  • Continue eastbound to SW 57 Avenue, turn north
  • Enter the westbound SR 836 ramp

Westbound drivers on SW 8 Street going north on SR 826 can:

  • Continue westbound to SW 87 Avenue, turn north
  • Enter the eastbound SR 836 ramp to access the northbound SR 826 flyover

Westbound drivers on SW 8 Street going east on SR 836 can:

  • Continue westbound to SW 87 Avenue, turn north
  • Enter the eastbound SR 836 ramp

Westbound drivers on SW 8 Street going west on SR 836 can:

  • Continue westbound to SW 87 Avenue, turn north
  • Enter the westbound SR 836 ramp

10 p.m., Friday, April 12 through 5 a.m., Monday, April 15 – The northbound SR 826 exit ramp to West Flagler Street will be closed. Drivers can:

  • Continue north on SR 826, exit at NW 25 Street
  • Turn west to enter southbound SR 826
  • Exit at West Flagler Street

10 p.m., Friday, April 12 through 5 a.m., Monday, April 15 – Two outside travel lanes will be closed on northbound SR 826 from south of SW 8 Street to north of West Flagler Street.

10 p.m., Friday, April 12 through 5 a.m., Saturday, April 13 – One outside travel lane will be closed on eastbound SR 836 from east of SR 826 to NW 72 Avenue.

11 p.m., Saturday, April 13 through 5 a.m., Sunday, April 14 – All northbound SR 826 travel lanes will be closed from SW 8 Street to SR 836.

Northbound drivers on SR 826 continuing north can:

  • Exit at SW 8 Street, go west to SW 87 Avenue
  • Turn north to access eastbound SR 836
  • Access the northbound SR 826 entrance ramp

Northbound drivers on SR 826 going west on SR 836 can:

  • Exit at SW 8 Street, go west to SW 87 Avenue
  • Turn north to access the westbound SR 836 ramp

 Northbound drivers on SR 826 going east on SR 836 can:

  • Exit at SW 8 Street, go east to SW 57 Avenue
  • Turn north to access eastbound SR 836

11 p.m. Saturday, April 13 through 5 a.m. Sunday, April 14 – The eastbound SR 836 exit to NW 72 Avenue will be closed. Drivers can:

    • Continue eastbound on SR 836, exit at NW 57 Avenue
    • Turn north to access westbound SR 836, exit at NW 72 Avenue

5 a.m. Sunday, April 14 through 5 a.m. Monday, April 15 – The northbound SR 826 to eastbound SR 836 ramp will be closed. Drivers can:

    • Continue north on SR 826, exit at NW 25 Street
    • Turn west to enter southbound SR 826
    • Access the eastbound SR 836 ramp

Gonzalez said the interchange makeover is moving right along thanks to a self-launching, self-propelled gantry crane they’ve nicknamed “The Smooth Operator.” The crane is being used to build the four main flyovers of the interchange from the sky down.

“It lifts 80 ton segments of bridge, rolls them out and gently sets them in place,” said Gonzalez. “It weighs 400 tons and is operated by a joystick.”

Using the high tech-crane, the contractor was able to cut the construction time by three years. Once the project is complete, transportation officials said the new flyovers will improve travel times, mobility and access. But not everyone is convinced.

“It goes here, then there and everywhere, before it was simple,” said Norma Arcengreen. “Good luck.”

The price tag on this project is 560 million dollars and its scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2015.

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