Finally! Two Years Later, the FDOT is Addressing Problems They Created!

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Two years and one pandemic later, the Florida Department of Traffic…oops, I mean Transportation, is finally addressing a problem THEY created.  Back in August of 2019 (before we ever heard of COVID) we had reported on the Palmetto Traffic Disaster created by the newly installed Express Lanes.  They simply took away the lanes the locals used to create the revenue generating express lanes.  This was idiocy at its finest or financial incentives on display.  You pick however you want to call it.  Bottom line, drivers got taxed no matter what. What always pissed me off about this is that the local driver never had an option to skip this mess and jump onto the express lanes.  I might want to pay a quarter or two to save a gallon of gas (now around $4) to sit in traffic every single day.  But do the people of Hialeah get that option?  Nope.  The residents of the County’s second biggest city got shafted.

Palmetto Southbound at 103 Street Hialeah Bypass

So finally, the FDOT, a monster bureaucracy that isn’t beholden to the voters, is moving forward with a capacity enhancement project that will take them two years to complete.

What’s the first thing on their list?

Temporarily converting one southbound express lane to a non-tolled, general purpose lane at SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street 

What the F@**!  The FDOT sat on this for two years.  Geez.  You could have done that two years ago.  What took you so long?  You could have eased congestion and improved traffic flow with this step alone.  (Again, a bureaucracy that isn’t held accountable to voters.)

The next one we like is a simple / inexpensive fix:

Relocating the express lane entrance access at NW 154 Street to SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to allow access to the express lanes from NW 154 Street and NW 122 Street/W 68 Street

Again!  We ask.  What the hell took you so long?  Not allowing residents from Hialeah to access the Express Lanes was a big mistake.  The FDOT could have been getting a ton of extra revenue from Hialeah drivers trying to bypass this mess.  I’m glad to see they listened to the complaints that Hialeah drivers were excluded from accessing the Express Lanes, but geez…We knew this over two years ago.  Ponte las pilas.

The other works to be performed the FDOT include the more expensive things:

  • Widening bridges at NW 103rd Street and NW 74th Street
  • Extending an auxiliary lane from NW 103rd Street to NW 74th Street
  • Modifying the NW 103rd Street flyover to Southbound Palmetto
  • Resurfacing frontage roads

We are happy to see that capital has been applied to provide traffic relief to drivers from along the Hialeah corridor of the Palmetto.  And the FDOT deserves a pat on the back for getting $66 Million for the bridge expansion projects.  However, they deserve a chancletaso for taking over two years to do the “easy” steps of moving the entrance and replacing an Express Lane for a regular lane.

Since it’s been over two years since the FDOT installed the “Express Lanes” causing the daily man-made traffic jam at southbound Palmetto and NW 103rd Street, we want to share what free flowing traffic looked like with 4 free flowing lanes back in 2019.  It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Southbound Palmetto Expressway at NW 103 Street

Below is the release from the FDOT:

State Road (SR) 826/Palmetto Expressway from south of NW 36 Street to north of NW 154 Street/Miami Lakes Drive 

FINs#: 447165-1-52-01, 441831-1-52-01 and 441830-1-52-01 

 OVERVIEW 

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is scheduled to begin a project along SR 826/Palmetto Expressway in Miami-Dade County in April 2022. 

WORK TO BE PERFORMED 

• Temporarily converting one southbound express lane to a non-tolled, general purpose lane at SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street 

• Extending the auxiliary lane between Okeechobee Road and SR 934/NW 74 Street 

• Widening the southbound bridges over SR 934/NW 74 Street, Metrorail and FEC Railway 

• Widening the northbound bridge over SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street 

• Relocating the express lane entrance access at NW 154 Street to SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to allow access to the express lanes from NW 154 Street and NW 122 Street/W 68 Street 

• Modifying the flyover from westbound SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to southbound SR 826 

• Widening the southbound SR 826 bridge over SR 932/NW 103 Street/ W 49 Street to create a permanent additional general-purpose lane 

• Resurfacing the frontage roads from SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road to SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street and from SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to NW 122 Street/W 68 Street 

 PROJECT SCHEDULE 

Spring 2022 to summer 2024 

Please note that this schedule could change due to bad weather or other unexpected conditions. 

 ESTIMATED CONSTRUCTION COST 

$66 million 

LANE CLOSURE AND DETOUR INFORMATION 

Travel lanes may be closed only on nonevent days during the following times: 

One lane Two or more lanes 

9 p.m. to 6 a.m. 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. Mondays – Thursdays 

11 p.m. to 8 a.m. 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. Friday nights 

11 p.m. to 9 a.m. 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. 

Saturday nights 

11 p.m. to 6 a.m. 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. 

Sunday nights 

Southbound full closures will be necessary at times. 

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