Plastic poles and permanent traffic pattern changes are coming to a new stretch of Interstate 95 express lanes in northern Miami-Dade Count, but won’t start until after construction is finished this summer.
At 5 a.m. Tuesday, the northbound express lane exit located north of the flyover at the Golden Glades will be closed. The new exit point will move north to a permanent location south of Ives Dairy Road. That means drivers who want to take the Miami Gardens Drive exit must exit the express lanes south of the Golden Glades near Northwest 151st Street.
The first exit from the express lanes north of the Golden Glades will be Ives Dairy Road.
The poles will be installed nightly for a few nights and the entrance and exit locations will change daily. Signs will advise drivers of the new express lane exit.
The pole installation should take about five nights, with crews moving about a half mile to a mile a night. Expect up to three lanes to be closed overnight.
Officials hope to avoid the chaos that occurred several years ago when the plastic poles appeared for the first time overnight in Miami-Dade. Drivers treated the express lanes like a slalom, swerving in and out of the poles.
This time, more signs will be posted to guide drivers through the area, said Tish Burgher, a project spokeswoman.
For now, drivers will be able to use the express lanes north of the Golden Glades for free. Tolls will not begin until after construction. Tolls, however, will remain on the existing 7-mile stretch of express lanes between the Golden Glades and downtown Miami.
Poles will not be installed on southbound I-95 in Miami-Dade until mid-June once paving and lane striping is finished. When that happens, crews will start at the new entry point to the southbound express lanes, located south of Ives Dairy Road, and proceed south to the Golden Glades.
The Florida Department of Transportation is extending the express lanes about 13 miles from the Golden Glades to Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
Paving on the Broward County stretch is just getting underway with work on the inside lanes in both directions. If you’re driving I-95 between Fort Lauderdale and Miami at night, plan for lane closures in both directions usually after 11 p.m. every night except Saturday.
Pole installation in Broward and on southbound I-95 from the Broward-Miami-Dade line to just south of Ives Dairy Road won’t begin until the paving in Broward is finished.
The entire project was originally supposed to be finished in November, then pushed back to April. Now state officials say it won’t be completed until late this summer.
The delays in part are due to extra work required in Broward to remove and replace more asphalt. Another 105 days were added to the contract because several existing light poles and an overhead sign structure in the flight path of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s new south runway had to be removed.