By: Diane Emeott Korzen Contributing Writer
Plans for the I-95 expansion will be moving north as residents ring in 2020.
In January, another phase will be added to I-95 expansion that so far has been focused on the stretch of roadway from SW 10 Street in Deerfield Beach to just south of Glades Road in Boca Raton.
That $102 million 3B-1 project began construction in January 2018 and expected completion is spring 2022.
The new project, Phase 3B-2, will expand the interstate from south of Glades Road to south of Linton Boulevard — impacting both the Cities of Boca Raton and Delray Beach. Estimated cost of this phase is $148 million.
The anticipated start date is early this month for milling and resurfacing along I-95 only. Mainline construction activities are anticipated to begin in January 2020, weather permitting. Completion is targeted for spring 2023.
The project has been awarded to Prince Contracting LLC and is currently in the design phase.
Boca City Council recently heard from a team of about eight engineers, consultants, and project managers from Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) and its subcontractors at a Monday af-ternoon, Sept. 23, Workshop meeting — at which I-95 Phase 3B-2 was the only agenda item.
Presenting were: Carlos Alba of WSP, FDOT Design Project Manager Vanita Saini, FDOT Palm Beach Operations Construction Engineer Melanie Straub, WSP Design Project Manager for the Design-Build firm Yamila Hernandez, Construction Senior Project Engineer Scott Case, Jose Otero, FDOT Consultant from Stantec Juan Bolivar, and FDOT Public Information Officer (PIO) from the Corradino Group Andi Pacini.
The project features a Diverging Diamond Interchange at Glades Road. According to FDOT, a DDI is “a form of Diamond Interchange that allows the two directions of traffic on the crossroad to temporarily divide and cross to the opposite side of the road to provide easier left turns to and from the freeway.”
There are 105 DDIs in the United States. The first one in the country was built in Springfield, MO in June 2009; the first one built in Florida was in Sarasota in July 2017.
The purpose of the project is to implement Express Lanes for additional I-95 capacity, use a de-sign that addresses the significant traffic spill-back onto I-95, and reconfigure the Glades Road interchange for less congestion and greater safety. FDOT is looking to alleviate existing issues and future need.
New noise walls are also to be erected within city limits as part of the project.
Council Member Monica Mayotte asked whether the I-95 bridges [overpasses] currently being expanded over Camino Real and recently built over Spanish River Boulevard would be disrupted by the new project. The answer was “No.”
Vice Mayor Jeremy Rodgers said, “You’ve showed a ton of benefits. What are typical draw-backs?
FDOT responded, “Educating the public. They [will] navigate [the roadway] differently than what they are used to.”