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!  :^)

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