FDOT to improve Sunset Dr., opens new link to Fla. Keys

By Richard Yager….
A $2.7 million project to improve Sunset Drive (SW 72nd Street) east of 87th Avenue is scheduled to get underway by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) during October.

Due for completion by June 2012, the project includes repaving and restriping the roadway and narrowing sections of the center median to permit wider outside lane access for bikers.

Also known as Marjorie Stoneham Douglas Drive, the section between SW 84th Place east to SW 69th Avenue will get new sidewalk sections and pedestrian ramps, curb and gutter replacements and new drainage installations.

Trees not conforming to safety standards for FDOT will be removed, with new pavement markings added, along with installation of updated signage and newly erected “Share the Road” signs for bicyclists.

FDOT also marked the completion of a new $330 million, 18-mile section of US1 connecting the South Florida mainland with the Florida Keys, between Florida City and Key Largo.

Requiring almost seven years to construct, a dedication ceremony marking the end of the project took place on Sept. 28 with officials praising new road features as well as safety, environmental and aesthetic improvements between SW 344 Street in Florida City and Mile Marker 116.

“No. 1 is safety and we will be able to eliminate 10 to 14 critical accidents a year,” said Gus Pego, FDOT’s District 6 Secretary.

The project over three-and-one-half years included two bridges, building an auxiliary lane in Florida City, installing a median barrier and installation of box culverts over the C-111 Canal.

Other current Kendall area FDOT projects include:

Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street) repaving and re-striping with minor widening along SW 87th Avenue, including drainage and signalization improvements, begun February 2011 with completion due in July. Cost is $536,388.

Bird Road (SW 40th Street) repaving and re-striping from SW 73rd Avenue to SW 71st Avenue, and between SW 70th and SW 69th avenues, replacing existing storm water drains, extending left-turn lanes from eastbound Bird to northbound SW 72nd Avenue and SW 69th Avenue; replacing sidewalks, curb, gutter and pedestrian ramps, as well as traffic and railroad signals and gates at the CSX Railroad crossing west of SW 72nd Avenue; plus street light upgrading. Project due for completion by December at a cost of $1.02 million.

M-Path Extension from Dadeland South Metrorail Station to SW 67th Avenue includes pedestrian/bicycle bridge over SR 878 (Snapper Creek Expressway), installing lighting, signage, fencing; cleaning Snapper Creek Canal; installing a wall with railings along the south side of the canal; new signage, traffic signals at intersections; pedestrian ramps, repaving and re-striping intersections, adding landscaping and decorative pavement. Cost: $4.5 million with project completion by December.

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