Thursday, October 18, 2012

Interchange Project to Improve Accessibility in the Doral Area

As the Miami and Doral area grows, traffic becomes more of a concern for residents and city officials. In an effort to help relieve congestion and keep traffic moving smoothly, the District Six sector of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority have put into motion the 826 - 836 Interchange Reconstruction Project as of  November 30, 2009. 

Construction limits are just north of SW 8 Street to NW 25 Street on the Palmetto Expressway and they are just east of NW 87 Avenue to NW 57 Avenue on the Dolphin Expressway. Improvements to ease congestion include the reconstruction and widening along both the SR 826 and SR 836. Included in the plans is the construction of of an interchange consisting of four levels. A complete map of the project is available at the project website. 

Perspective view along northbound S.R. 826

Both the Dolphin Expressway and Palmetto Expressway are major traffic arteries for the Miami-Dade and Doral area. Given the construction, drivers now have to deal with short term inconveniences in their travels, but once the project is completed, the long term benefits will be worth it. Some of the benefits of the SR 826-836 Interchange Reconstruction Project include:
  • New connections in all directions between SR 826 and SR 836 
  • A new direct connection between Northbound SR 826 and Westbound SR 836
  • Ramps and frontage roads for traffic along SR 826 and SR 836 so drivers will not have to use the expressways for short trips along these roads.
  • Enhanced access to and from SR 836 at Milam Dairy Road with the construction of new entrance and exit ramps, and a new connection to Milam Dairy Road through reconstruction of NW 11th St. from NW 72nd Ave. 
  • West Flager Street will receive new triple left turn lanes, and wider and resurfaced SR 826 ramps between SW/NW 76 Ave. and SW/NW 78 Place. A section of NW 12th St. beneath SR 826 will be reconstructed.
  • Traffic updates and first responder times will be enhanced with the installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems cameras. New signals, landscaping and lighting will also be installed along the project area.
  • Provisions for future construction will be accomplished by new bridges over the planned location of NW 7th St. and NW 82nd Ave.  
The interchange is used by approximately 430,000 motorists each day and while the current interchange has served the Miami-Dade and Doral area for many years, the growth and increased popularity of the area makes this project necessary. It will manage not only current traffic flow, but projected growth in the future. According to the FDOT, the project is in the fifth section of a twelve section plan to improve the 16 mile corridor along the expressways.

Perspective view along the direct connector ramp from westbound S.R. 836 to southbound S.R. 826

Not only is traffic flow a concern for the project developers and planners, but the response time for emergency services was also a major consideration. The FDOT is hoping that by implementing the proposed improvements, first responder efficiency on these highways will significantly improve. The Palmetto 826 - Dolphin 836 Interchange Project is the last phase of this 12 point improvement plan. The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2015.

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