Five contracts underway on Krome south of US 41

Five contracts underway on Krome south of US 41

Construction crew prepares Krome Avenue, south of Tamiami Trail (US 41), for widening.

A near half-billion dollar program to four-lane Krome (SW 177th) Avenue is underway with five projects totaling $122.2 million, including initial work between Tamiami Trail (US 41) and Kendall Drive (SR 94).

The 36-mile corridor from Okeechobee Road (US 27) to SW 296th Street in Homestead has been broken into 22 projects with construction dates varying from 2015 to 2019.

In addition to completing the four lanes to replace the existing two, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will install new stormwater drainage, a guard rail dividing northbound and southbound lanes, new signage and street lighting improvements.

The two key sections for West Kendall residents total 18.2 miles — an approximate 11-mile distance from Tamiami Trail south to Kendall

Drive and a second 7.2- mile section south of Kendall Drive to SW 136th Street.

North of the Trail, the project work covers a 13.8-mile distance to the Okeechobee Road intersection.

Tons of sand have been piled up along a three-mile section south of the Trail for clearing, grading and installing drainage that began in

February on a $59 million contract scheduled for completion by December 2017.

Two other contracts totaling $36.8 million commenced work north of the Trail with December 2016 completion dates.

Recent safety improvements for motorists include installation of “No Passing Zone” signage at the S-Curve,about one-mile south of Kendall Drive, and at points between SW 136th and SW 146th streets.

Among a dozen interim improvements motorists may expect as work progresses are the extension of all-red signal phases at all signalized intersections, audible and vibratory markings, chevron signage at key curves and new lighting at five intersections where none now exists.

Tentatively set for completion by late February 2019, Krome Avenue eventually will provide four 12-foot wide lanes divided by a 30-foot grass median with bicycle and pedestrian paths along both sides of the improved roadway. Project work also includes new lighting and plastic pole separators to discourage passing between north and southbound lanes.

In design phases during the past 10 years, FDOT blames “part of the delay” on an economic downturn from 2006 to 2008 and “opposition from the community on proposed improvements.” Some area residents now are pushing FDOT to advance announced construction dates.

Cost was estimated in 2014 at a total $496.6 million to include $291.2 million in federal money coupled with $205.6 million in state and FDOT District 6 funds.

The Florida Highway Patrol, which terms Krome as Miami-Dade’s “most dangerous road,” reported that vehicle crashes in 2015 have killed four, added to 12 who died in 2014 as a result of collisions. In seven previous years, 28 individuals lost their lives and more than 900 were injured in other accidents on Krome Avenue.

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