BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – There is welcome change on northbound I-95 in Broward County following a Local 10 News investigation.
The Florida Department of Transportation has unexpectedly changed the traffic pattern north of Sheridan Street.
"This wasn't planned," Barbara Kelleher, of the FDOT, said.
As part of adding express lanes into Broward, FDOT created a merge on Griffin Road, which forced high-speed traffic in the left, fast lane to merge right.
The traffic pattern caught many drivers off guard and the situation caused confusion, heavy backups and bottlenecking.
The number of crashes in the area doubled since the merge was created in April 2016.
John Olsen, the traffic engineer who designed the merge, originally said it didn’t cause traffic problems.
"From my understanding, things have been going reasonably well," Olsen said at the time.
Now, a little more than a year later, that merge, the confusion and the massive traffic backups are gone. And engineers forced to go back to the drawing board.
"It just wasn't working the way it was supposed to work," Kellher said. "The traffic backups weren't getting any better, they were getting worse. Crashes were increasing."
It's been a month since the new traffic pattern was implemented and Local 10 News has learned crashes are down 80 percent from the same time last year.
Drivers say the difference is like night and day.
"The traffic snarl is just not there anymore," Peter Burke, Local10.com managing editor, said about his daily commute.
Local 10 News assignment editor Peggy Philip agreed about her commute to Pompano Beach.
"Ten to 15 minutes or less time to get home," she said.