The average Miami commuter spends an extra 52 hours per year on the road, according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard from the Texas A&M Transit Institute. The scorecard ranks Miami No. 12 among major U.S. cities in yearly delay per auto commuter. The good news is: MDX is working to improve these numbers with two construction improvement projects taking place on the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and one on the Don Shula Expressway (SR 874). The projects are funded by toll revenue collected on the five expressways of the MDX system.
MDX’s Dolphin Expressway interchange modification at NW 87 Avenue will improve safety and traffic flow by providing new, direct expressway access. To reduce congestion at the NW 87 Avenue and NW 12 Street intersection, a new flyover ramp from westbound NW 12 Street is being constructed to connect drivers to westbound SR 836. The modernization project also will complete connections between the Dolphin and Palmetto Expressways (SR 826), increasing capacity to meet future traffic needs. Noise walls are being installed to reduce noise for residents just south of the expressway. This construction project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018 at an estimated cost of $65.9 million, says MDX Executive Director Javier Rodriguez.
More importantly, the oldest and most congested segment of the Dolphin Expressway is being improved. An additional traffic lane in each direction and new interchanges are being constructed on the 4.4-mile stretch from west of NW 57 Avenue to NW 17 Avenue. “All loop ramps will be removed and replaced with more modern ramp designs,” Rodriguez said. “This will dramatically improve traffic flow for drivers entering and exiting the expressway.”
The NW 27 Avenue and NW 57 Avenue interchanges on the Dolphin Expressway will be reconstructed using an innovative traffic solution called a Diverging Diamond Interchange, which eliminates left turns across oncoming traffic to improve safety and traffic efficiency. “Crews are working on this entire 4.4-mile project at the same time to complete the construction as quickly as possible,” Rodriguez added.
The Dolphin improvements also include wider inner shoulders to serve Bus Express Service that will start at the Dolphin Station Park and Ride and travel to downtown. The $149.5 million improvement project is scheduled to be completed in summer 2018.
MDX also has started construction of a new access ramp connection from the southern point of the Don Shula Expressway to SW 128 Street. This new ramp will provide access to the growing southwest Miami-Dade communities, presently only serviced by access to and from Florida’s Turnpike through the heavily congested SW 120 Street and SW 152 Street ramps. The project also will include the widening of SW 128 Street from two lanes to four lanes from SW 122 Avenue to SW 137 Avenue. Construction will take approximately three years to complete, Rodriguez says.
For more information on construction activities and traffic closures, visit www.mdxway.com.