Motorists driving State Road 836/ Dolphin Expressway will soon begin to see innovative safety features that will help make it one of the safest expressways in the State of Florida. These measures are part of a new road safety initiative spearheaded by MDX Chairwoman Maritza Gutierrez to save lives on MDX expressways.
On average it rains 140 days a year in Miami-Dade, the combination of heavy rain and nighttime conditions can impede visibility on South Florida roads at a moment’s notice. One of the immediate improvements that the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority will incorporate on SR 836, the most important east-west expressway in the county, are new thermoplastic lane markings that are enhanced with improved materials to better reflect vehicle headlights at night and under wet road conditions. Using superior materials increases the visibility of the lane markings and helps keep drivers in their proper lanes.
“All of these safety improvements have one theme in common. To assure that drivers using MDX expressways get to their destinations safely,” said Juan Toledo, MDX Director of Engineering.
As an additional safety measure against distracted or drowsy drivers, MDX has incorporated rumble strips into the shoulder lane markings. Rumble Strips are an effective countermeasure for preventing lane drifting. When drivers stray from the travel lane, rumble strips rouse their attention to allow a safe recovery. Rumble strips also are helpful in alerting drivers to the lane limits where conditions such as rain or fog further reduce driver visibility.
MDX will also incorporate solar powered road pavement markings (RPM) into various road segments that have been identified to further benefit drivers in adverse driving conditions, such as heavy rain or in fog. Illuminated white LED RPM’s will be embedded in the highway creating the first illuminated highway segments in Miami- Dade County. These new high tech features will maximize the driver’s ability to operate and maneuver through dark spots, or sharpcurved areas on the highway, helping to prevent accidents and serious injuries.
These solar powered RPM’s are a great alternative to overhead street lighting in areas where Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit them or where by design overhead lighting is not possible. An additional benefit is that MDX will be incorporating Green Technology into its system, since solar energy is limitless, clean and good for the environment.
MDX will also be installing radar speed indicator signs throughout the system to warn drivers that they are travelling over the speed limit. Studies have shown radar signs produce up to a 20% reduction in average roadway speeds, along with an increase in compliance with the posted speed limit. MDX will install “Wrong Way” signs with the latest technology to avoid occurrences of wrong way accidents.
All these safety enhancements are part of the recently commenced $880 million Five-Year Work Program of infrastructure projects to improve traffic flow and further mitigate congestion. This includes improvements to operational and safety deficiencies throughout the system.
The centerpiece of this infrastructure program is a SR 836 project, between NW 57th Avenue and I-95 that will improve capacity with a new westbound and eastbound lane and widening the bridge over the Miami River.
The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) is a public entity and agency of the state, created in 1994 by the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County. MDX’s Governing Board is comprised of 13 volunteer members appointed either by the Board of County Commissioners and the Governor of the State of Florida. MDX operates and maintains five expressways: SR 112/Airport Expressway, SR 836/Dolphin Expressway, SR 874/Don Shula Expressway, SR 878/Snapper Creek Expressway, and SR 924/Gratigny Parkway. MDX is funded almost entirely by toll revenue and is dedicated to moving Miami-Dade County forward making your commute safer and more efficient. For information on MDX, visit www.mdxway.com.