A six-month project to improve traffic capacity on SW 104th Street at the SW 122nd Avenue intersection was being completed in late March. It is immediately west of the turnpike overpass where controversy arose in West Kendall last fall.
Coincidentally, the Miami-Dade County Public Works project already had begun redeveloping the crossing while Devon Aire residents successfully protested Florida’s Turnpike proposal to install an express lane exit at the same intersection.
Turnpike officials dropped their $26 million project plan on Nov. 14 even as barricades were installed and median reconstruction began on the bridge under a contracted $220,606 traffic improvement project.
Spokespersons for the turnpike and Florida Department of Transportation said they were unaware of the DPW project when asked for comment during its mid-March completion stages.
Safety and security of schoolchildren at Devon Aire K-8 Center and Devon Aire Park were among the primary reasons community residents heatedly objected to the turnpike plan creating a westbound expressway lane exit at SW 122nd Avenue.
As detailed by Gayle R. Love, Miami- Dade Public Works PIO, the county project, started in October 2013, “will be substantially complete by the end of March,” opening new traffic lanes and modifying the overpass center median.
The revised intersection includes a wider right-turn lane from SW 122nd Avenue onto eastbound 104th Street traffic, and widened turning lanes from westbound SW 104th Street to northbound 122nd Avenue.
New lane widths and median replacements realign the intersection with adjustment of pedestrian crossings, important to neighboring homes due to the adjacent location of Devon Aire K-8 school.
Devon Aire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., a year-around home for youth baseball, football and cheerleading programs, adjoins the intersection.
As of Mar. 24, workmen had completed the subsurface for a final asphalt pouring with permanent pavement markings to be installed after the new road surface has cured by May 1, according to the schedule provided by Love.
“There will also be modifications to the traffic light system to address the new traffic configurations, which will be done under another contract in the near future,” she added.