MIAMI – Traffic changes are coming to South Florida. Officials said the project would connect three major highways, but the construction could cause some delays on the road in the meantime.
Construction will begin Monday to build the foundations that will support the signature bridge.
"We are entering a new phase where we're going to be starting on foundations for the signature bridge as well as the new local connector roads," said Oscar Gonzalez III, senior community outreach specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation.
As a result, Northeast 12th Street will be permanently closed from Biscayne Boulevard to Northeast Second Avenue.
"Once we close Northeast 12th Street on Monday, the new traffic pattern will be those people headed south will either make a right on Biscayne Boulevard or a right on Second Avenue, and then make a left on Northeast First Avenue to access the ramps," Gonzalez said.
The project is estimated to be completed in the fall of 2023.
"It involves construction on 836 where we're adding an additional level -- a double deck level," Gonzalez said. "We're doing work on pavement rehabilitation on I-95, as well as improving ramps. And on 395, we're doing a total reconstruction of I-395, so nothing that's there on I-395 will be there when we are done."
The project includes construction of the bridge on the MacArthur Causeway, which was announced earlier this year, as well as additional lanes to the infamous Dolphin Expressway ramp to Interstate 95.
"One example that I'm sure all of the residents have experienced is if you're driving eastbound on 836 and you're trying to go northbound on I-95 -- that is a single-lane ramp that is extremely congested," Gonzalez said. "Not only does it impact those people on the ramp, but it also impacts those people trying to get to the beach, because people are cutting in at the last moment. So the double decking of 836 is going to help, but we're also going to add an additional lane to that eastbound 836 ramp to northbound I-95,"
In the meantime, if this affects your commute in downtown Miami, give yourself extra time, especially ahead of the school year.
Multiple electronic message boards and signage are informing drivers about the changes. Drivers can also visit I-395miami.com for email alerts for closures and construction ahead of their commutes.