MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Motorists who regularly navigate the interchange of the Dolphin(836) and Palmetto(826) expressways in West Miami-Dade have become accustomed to lots of detours and lane changes, and more are coming Sunday.

As the $560 million makeover of the interchange continues, engineers have been creating a series of changes in traffic patterns to permit the construction work to go forward.

Beginning Sunday, drivers going southbound on the Palmetto will have to take a new, temporary route westward in order to go east.  Currently, a ramp from the Palmetto takes motorists directly to the eastbound Dolphin.  With the new detour, drivers will instead take a ramp about a half mile to the west, make a u-turn, and then merge onto the eastbound Dolphin.  There will be no stops in the new detour, allowing motorists a seamless, albeit out of the way transition.

Also Sunday, the existing eastbound dolphin will take a southern jog for about a mile long stretch on either side of the interchange.  At about northwest 82nd Avenue, motorists will jog onto temporary eastbound lanes paralleling the existing roadway.  The detour will continue to the east, with drivers rejoining the regular 836 a short distance past Milam Dairy Road.

The updated Palmetto/Dolphin interchange began in November, 2009 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.  Drivers can expect more changes in traffic patterns to accommodate construction as the project moves along.  When completed, the interchange will be a state of the art piece of traffic engineering.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Oscar Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation.  “People are going to have better mobility, less travel time, and the access between these two, major state roads is going to be much improved.”

To See A Map of The Changes, Click here


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