Palmetto Expressway Closures and Detours this Weekend

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The FDOT, also known as the Florida Department of Traffic…oops…I mean Transportation, will be shutting down the Palmetto Expressway with extensive detours this weekend. This is part of an expansive project to fix a mess they created.  As every one who drives on the Palmetto on a regular basis knows, the FDOT created their own mess when they added TWO tolled Express Lanes and limited local access to the 1980s era capacity of just three lanes.  This creates a severe bottleneck during “light” weekend traffic at NW 103rd Street.  During the busy rush hour traffic, the FDOT is taxing drivers who are burning fuel and polluting the environment while stuck in this mess.

Palmetto Southbound at 103 Street Hialeah Bypass  

The FDOT had similarly screwed up northbound Palmetto Traffic at NW 103rd Street, but they did make corrections that helped alleviate the situation from unacceptable to tolerable.

Nevertheless, Southbound Palmetto is atrocious with just 3 lanes at the bottleneck.  Here are a few “cheap” solutions:

  1. Eliminate the southbound Express Lanes and go back to 5 free flowing lanes on Southbound Palmetto
  2. Reduce the Express Lanes to one lane and it would still allow 4 free flowing lanes
  3. Add an extra Free Flowing Lane by reducing the emergency lanes on each side.

So which option did the Department of Traffic choose?  The $66 Million Construction Project of course.  Click to read more about this project.

Here’s the full announcement of closures from the FDOT:

State Road (SR) 826/Palmetto Expressway Closures and Detours 

Friday, April 8 to Monday, April 11, 2022 

MIAMI, Fla. – Drivers will experience extensive lane closures and detours on SR 826/Palmetto Expressway from Friday, April 8 to Monday, April 11, while workers relocate express lane markers (ELMs) and re-stripe the road in order to shift southbound traffic on Monday morning, April 11. 

Express Lane Closures Friday, April 8 through Monday, April 11 

  • SR 826/Palmetto Expressway express lanes will be closed at NW 154 Street/Miami Lakes Drive from 10 p.m. Friday, April 8 until 5 a.m., Monday, April 11 
  • I-75 southbound express lanes will be closed at SR 860/NW 186 Street/Miami Gardens Drive, from 10 p.m., Friday April 8 until 5 a.m., Monday, April 11 

While the express lanes are closed, drivers should use the non-tolled lanes. 

All southbound and northbound SR 826/Palmetto Expressway tolling will be suspended for the duration of the project beginning Friday, April 8 

Non-tolled Lane Closures and Detours, Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10 

  • From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., one southbound lane will be closed between SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street and SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road. 
  • From 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., all SR 826/Palmetto Expressway southbound lanes will be closed from SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road. 
  • From 7 a.m to 11 p.m up to two lanes will be closed between SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street and SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road. At least two non-tolled lanes will remain open. 

During the full southbound closures, drivers will be detoured as follows: 

Westbound SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street: 

  • Exit the Palmetto Expressway at SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street 
  • Go west on SR 932/NW 103 Street to SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road 
  • Go south on SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road to the SR 826/Palmetto Expressway southbound entrance ramp 

Eastbound SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street: 

  • Exit the SR 826/Palmetto Expressway at SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street 
  • Go east on SR 932/NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to W 16 Avenue 
  • Go south on W 16 Avenue to SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road 
  • Go west to SR 25/US 27/Okeechobee Road to the SR 826/Palmetto Expressway southbound entrance ramp 

Please note that this schedule may change due to bad weather or other unforeseen conditions. Drivers should anticipate delays and seek alternate routes if possible. 

The work is part of the Palmetto Expressway Capacity Project that includes modifying the flyover from westbound NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to southbound SR 826 and widening the SR 826 bridge over NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to create an additional non-tolled lane. In addition, the express lane entrance at NW 154 Street/Miami Lakes Drive will be relocated to NW 103 Street/W 49 Street to allow access to the express lanes from NW 154 Street and NW 122 Street/W 68 Street. Construction began the week of April 4, 2022 and will last about 30 months and cost an estimated $66 million. 

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