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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Get ready for another big change on the Express Lanes on I-95 in Miami-Dade.
New, sturdier, plastic poles are going to be installed to make the lanes safer for drivers and law enforcement alike.
The Florida Highway Patrol said drivers have knocked down some of the flimsy old poles which have caused multiple accidents.
The new stronger poles will be spaced five feet apart, instead of the ten feet that separate the current poles.
“The motorist who decides to lane dive is going to cross twice as many of these poles, they’re going to risk more damage to their vehicle, there’s going to be a much greater visual effect when you look down that row of poles,” said James Wolfe with the state’s Department of Transportation.
The Florida Highway Patrol applauds the state’s actions.
“We’ve experienced a number of crashes, obviously the lane diving issue has been an ongoing issue,” said FHP Major Chris Dellaprieta. “We feel that the improvements by the DOT will greatly improve that.”
In addition to installing the new poles, the DOT will also build five 13-foot wide “Safe Stopping Zones” along the highway. Currently the way a law enforcement officer can pull over a driver is in moving lane of traffic. The safe zone will change that.
“I will have plenty of room to address the violator, not having to constantly be looking behind me, making sure that no one rear ends my vehicle or the violator’s vehicle,” said Dellaprieta.
The new poles and stopping zones will cost $11 million. The DOT said they will virtually pay for themselves by lowering replacement costs.
The new poles will line I-95 from downtown to the Golden Glades in both directions. Installation should be completed by this Fall.