About a score of area residents got the first — and only — look at a Florida Department of Transportation Department (FDOT) plan to remake the S. Dixie Highway (US1)-SW 104th Street intersection before the beginning of construction scheduled in 2018.
Essentially, the project will realign southbound US1 lanes in the area, extend a northbound auxiliary lane beyond SW 104th Street for northbound Palmetto Expressway drivers and build an exclusive right-turn-only lane from northbound US1 to eastbound SW 104th Street.
While the FDOT counted only 21 individuals at the advertised public meeting on Oct. 28, several expressed varying concerns on commentary forms during the two-hour “Open House” styled session conducted from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fellowship Hall of Kendall United Methodist Church in Pinecrest.
“Creating a continuous right turn onto US1 from SW 104th Street may help traffic flows, particularly in the morning,” said Pinecrest Councilmember Bob Ross although the adjoining corner gas station owner believed it could impede business.
The plan also will convert the curbadjoining northbound lane on US1 to a right-turn-only lane for eastbound SW 104th Street, compressing the existing three US1 northbound lanes into two, a change that could create additional US1 northbound backups, he noted.
Relocation of trees to a lengthened median north of SW 104th Street “would appear to be a net plus,” Ross said, adding the residents who were present that I spoke with seemed accepting of what FDOT wants to do.”
For a different reason, others in the Continental Park area on the west side of US1 were not so sure.
“I am concerned about cut-through traffic in our neighborhood,” noted Holly White, who serves as president of both Continental Park Homeowners Association and East Kendall Homeowners Association. “If the flow of traffic improves, possibly drivers will no longer attempt to bypass intersections such as the 104th Street and the US1 intersection,” White said. “Does the improvement planned by FDOT successfully improve traffic flow or does it put a ‘pretty’ band-aid on the real problem?”
According to the FDOT project statement, the changes are intended to relieve “safety problems” at the US1- SW 104th Street intersection, specifically to reduce frequency of vehicle crashes.
Included in the planning is a sound barrier between southbound US1 lanes and the South Miami-Dade Busway immediately south of SW 104th Street; resurfacing effected roadway sections, upgrading traffic signalization and signage. For more details, visit www.fdotmiamidade.com.