Sturdier poles to be installed along I-95 express lanes in Miami-Dade County

New safety features to take a year and a half to complete

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol announced new safety features Thursday for the Interstate 95 express lanes in Miami-Dade County.

All of the plastic poles will be replaced on I-95 in Miami-Dade County. The new poles will be sturdier and will be placed 5 feet apart, instead of 10 feet apart as they currently are.

Officials said the new poles, which are costing just under $2 million, are designed to take 200 hits, which will reduce maintenance costs.

Work to install the poles will begin immediately, officials said.

According to transportation officials, it will cost $8.5 million to construct five "Safe Stopping Zones," which will be wider shoulders for the public and troopers.

Location of new Safe Stopping Zones

Barrier walls will be moved in those places and drainage below will have to be reconfigured. The improvements are expected to take a year and a half to complete.

"This is a learning process," FDOT District 6 secretary James Wolfe said. "Express lanes have been a great success."

Officials said the cost of express lanes will not go up because of the safety improvements that are being done from the Golden Glades south.

FDOT officials hope installing more poles that are closer together will deter drivers from crossing over the poles, causing crashes and dangerous situations.

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