Sunday, April 9, 2017

Golden Glades Interchange Makeover 7

I-495 Northside Connector

This is the last article of the series -- the first five are on the International Highway Makeover 2 blog and archived here and the sixth is archived here -- it is actually the last two posts of my planned series compressed into one.

This posts concerns providing a high-speed, interstate-quality connector between the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) and the Turnpike (or I-91) on the one end and I-95 North to and from Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and points north on the other end. This roadway will have two travel lanes, one narrow left-hand margin and one breakdown lane in each direction, protected by Jersey Barrier median and parapet walls.

The first phase of this final stage of construction is the widening of the NW 7th Avenue Extension into a broad neutral ground, wide enough to accommodate the I-495 Northside Connector. This was the main reason for a required replacement of the Turnpike Mainline (SR-91) & SR-826 East over the Palmetto -- the widening to accommodate traffic from southbound I-95 North was lagniappe (a bonus). This widening includes reconstruction and reconfiguration of three intersections and the replacement of two sets of traffic lights: one at NW 7th Avenue and the other at US-441 & SR-7. A minumum of a fifteen-foot strip of land on either side of the Extension's right-of-way is required -- it is better to accuqire the parcels on either side whole to get rid of all the blighted property (the abandoned Parkway General Hospital) to accommodate the high-speed connector's ramps or so they can be redeveloped and to set aside the vacant parcel across the street from the Hospital as a park or reservation, because there is a shortage of green space open to the public in this neighborhood.

Once the widening of the NW 7th Avenue Extension is complete, the next phase is the construction of the I-495 Northside Connector that would link up the Palmetto and the Turnpike to I-95 North. This elevated highway will require the taking of several business and industrial buildings and parking lots between US-441 and I-95 and a narrow strip from a public street and some parking lots next to the I-95 North southbound lane to accommodate the required right-of-way for the new road and its nothbound entry to and parallel southbound collection/distribution road and exit from I-95. This Connector is conceived to disallow northbound access to SR-860 Miami Gardens Drive but permit the same access to the northbound I-95 Express lane. The SR-826 EB to I-95 NB connector to be built during interim construction of the changes proposed by the State can serve to connect to that local roadway, and its advance guide signs on the Palmetto Expressway adjusted to suit.  From the southbound I-95 Express lane, access to the Turnpike and the Palmetto will be the same as at present.  Once the elevated road is complete, the full length of the Palmetto can be posted as I-495, to and including the Don Shula Expressway down to the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike, which itself would be posted as I-991 -- the Palmetto between the Don Shula and US-1 South Dixie Highway can be posted "SPUR I-495" or remain as it is.

There will be no impact to Milton Littman Park in North Miami Beach becasue I-95 will not be widened to the southeast.

Milton Lippman Park is this tiny vest-pocket park at the southwest corner of NE 6th Avenue and SR-860 Miami Gardens Drive, wedged up against the southeast side of I-95.
This is a wrap -- I think trying a detailed drawing of this I-495 Northside Connector will be for me just too much!

C'est tout! / That's all!  :^)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Golden Glades Interchange Makeover 6

Parts 1 through 5 can be seen <a href="">here</a>.

This part makes the Florida's Turnpike Connector NB into an interstate-quality highway like its southbound cousin and remakes the Connector into a new Turnpike mainline, thus making it eligible for an interstate number.

The first phase of this part of the construction involves reconfiguring how the Florida's Turnpike connects to the Beaches, the SR-826 Palmetto Expressway and I-95 South (Miami). What is to be done first is to construct a new viaduct in the breakdown lane and green margin space of the southbound Turnpike. This roadway would have to soar above the existing Turnpike Connector northbound, otherwise the existing "left exit" for SR-826 and the beaches will have to detour through the Golden Glades park 'n; ride area -- a journey almost to the Biscayne Canal and back, stopping once at a traffic light. Once this is done and the elevated ramp is opened to traffic, the existing northbound Connector can be degraded from the top of the current embankment down to ground level and the ramps leading from the SR-826 Palmetto Expressway eastbound, the Northwest 7th Avenue Extension southbound, and from SR-826 NW 163rd Street westbound can also be degraded to ground level and reconfigured as shown (or in a different manner).  A temporary roadway will be required. At this time the bridge carrying the existing Turnpike Mainline over the NW 7th Avenue Extension would be rebuilt to provide room for the widening of the Extension and construction of the Northside Connector (next and final part).   At this point the Turnpike southbound will get back its breakdown lane.  As an extra, the Mainline that carries SR-826 westbound from the Beaches would be widened to eliminate a choke point just before the 270-degree loop ramp.

Once the above construction is out of the way, the second phase of this part involves the provision of a full breakdown lane on the existing Turnpike Connector northbound from the loop ramp at the US-441/SR-7 and SR-9 roadways, all the way up to the point where the northbound roadway will connect with the existing Turnpike northbound.  This will involve adjustments or rebuilding of three bridges: one over the ramps mentioned, the second over the railroad tracks, and the third over the SR-826 Palmetto Expressway. As a part of this construction the State can decide if it wants to keep the existing left-hand split from I-95 northbound, or switch it over to a right-hand split.

Once this is all done, may I suggest that the Turnpike, presently Florida state road reference number SR-91, be posted as I-91 as I have shown since it passes between Orlando and Disney World and carries interstate traffic up to I-75, which heads north all the way to Michigan.

Next and last part coming up!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New South Carolina Route Marker: My Final Design

Okay, in my previous blog on this subject, I came up with an initial version based on the state's new license plate, keeping the crescent moon, the palmetto and the state name and the slogan!  The only thing it didn't have on it was the state outline -- that would have made it too busy.  Well I thought the white border was too thick and the slogan, which will eventually become outdated, still made it too busy, so I decided to get rid of the slogan, as can be shown hereinbelow.

As you can see, it now actually looks like a route marker and not like a license plate.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

This blog to succeed International Highway Makeover 2

Due to concerns expressed by my partner Andrew Porter about the commingling of my blogs and YouTube posts with his gmail inbox: he's got two gmail addresses with his name on it: one that he uses himself, and one that he has been letting me use because Google attached my blog and my YouTube account to it without asking me, when we tried to sign him up for gmail initially. Now the comments I've been expressing elsewhere under my old Google ID "Ed-M" and my YouTube ID "PfctvsPontivsPilatvs" has been showing up in the latter email address as is right and proper, but is also polluting the former address--the one that he's using! So I'm stopping my using those and going by my real ID now in order to prevent any further cross-pollution.

To expedite this, I'm starting a new trio of blogs to succeed Fin des Voies Rapides / If Peak Oil Were No Object ( Ed-M's Commentarium ), Cruci Blog ( Ed-M's Cruci Blog ), and International Highway Makeover 2 (this blog).