MIAMI - The first step of a redesign of the Dolphin Expressway where it meets the Palmetto Expressway is nearly complete.
About 430,000 cars travel the area every day, and it has long been a traffic nightmare.
When crews first broke ground along the Dolphin, or State Road 836, less than a year ago, they embarked on a first-of-its-kind project in Miami-Dade County.
The mission was to build a flyover lane that would connect drivers moving east on the Dolphin with the northbound lanes of the Palmetto.
The catch was that they had to use a giant contraption called a gantry, for the first time. The gantry is designed to allow traffic to flow below while it builds overhead.
"By having this gantry sitting over head all the time we closed the lanes and were ready to work right away," said Oscar Gonzales with the Florida Department of Transportation.
Slab by slab, South Floridians watched it go, until a few days ago when the gantry laid down the final section of the flyover lane.
It is just Step 1 of a very complex project that is estimated to take about three more years.
"In the next few weeks, we're gonna start dismantling the gantry so we can move it to the next bridge," said Gonzales.
Three more flyovers must be built.
By October, the stretch of roadway will be polished, painted and ready to take some of the stress out of commutes.
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