Thursday, September 22, 2016

Golden Glades Interchange Makeover 5

This is the fifth of several posts regarding a makeover of the current disorganised highway <b>mess</b> called the Golden Glades Interchange.  The changes planned by the State of Florida I have summarised in the previous post in this series, and the one before that.

The changes that I see need to be done are not included in the State's plan consist of supplying a limited-access, non-stop connector for the 826 Palmetto Expressway eastbound to the Florida Turnpike northbound, a similar connector from the Florida Turnpike southbound to I-95 northbound, another between I-95 southbound and the Florida Turnpike northbound, and a multilane connector between the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-95 North. Also missing are a ground-level, interstate-quality connectior for the Florida Turnpike connector to the Turnpike Mainline northbound and a mainline priority for most of the traffic going from the Turnpike to points south.

So here is the first of four posts showing what changes will be made to the interchange, step-by-step, to get rid of those deficiencies.

Satellite view of my first addition to the Golden Glades Interchange.
The changes planned by the state are in golden-yellow, my changes in white and red-outlined pink.
The first additional change to be done will be to build a direct connector ramp from 826 eastbound to the Turnpike northbound. It will require the taking of three (or four) pieces of property on the south side of the NW 7th Ave Extension, entailing the removal of three businesses: a self-storage place, a roadside gasoline station and a warehouse which leases some of its space to a non-denominational church. Some property may need to be purchased from the owner of the abandoned hospital that contains the small business called Perfection Cubeoctahedron and the Lubavitcher academy next to it (parking lots only -- no buildings will need to be removed) It will also require the construction of two bridges, shown in pink, outlined with red.

The viaduct will be built at such a height so as to clear my last addition to the interchange: the I-495 Golden Glades Northside Connector viaduct upgrade. The height of the ramp will be about 40 to 50 feet, depending on the required height of the upgrade and the depth of the ramp deck (including support beams) over it.

Once this 270-degree loop ramp is built, the existing traffic-lighted intersection at the east end of the 826 Expressway, opposite the gas station, will be removed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Golden Glades Interchange Makeover 4

Okay, it's been a long time since I posted an update on my Golden Glades Interchange Makeover. The last post had to do with the Interim stage of the State of Florida's planned changes to the interchange. Now I will show you the changes the State will do for its Ultimate build-out.

Florida DOT's Ultimate build-out.
I will point out the changes the state is planning on constructing for its Ultimate construction for the sprawling-yet-too-small, confusing interchange. I will go roughly west-to-east, i.e., left-to-right as I relate the State's proposed changes. Just describing these changes is confusing!

7: State Road 7 (SR-7).
9: State Road 9 (SR-9).
I-95: Interstate 95.
441: US Highway 441
826: State Road 826 (SR-826), a.k.a. Palmetto Expressway and NW 163rd St.
And here are the changes:

1. 826 (Palmetto Expressway): Build an H-O-T connector viaduct from a point about 3,000 feet west of the Turnpike Connector to the I-95 Express Lane viaduct.

2. Build a separate H-O-T lane along the Florida Turnpike Connector southbound to connect with the I-95 Express lanes.

3. Rebuild 9 and 441 in the area of the Golden Glades Park and Ride Lots in connection to the repurposing of the lots themselves and the unweaving of different and conflicting streams of traffic underneath the Turnpike Connector.

4. Repurpose and redevelop the Golden Glades Park-and-Ride Lots. The lot west of 441 will become a bus terminal with commuter parking, or "Multimodal Facility"; the other one into a truck stop, or "Truck and Travel Center." The improvements for each of both are not shown -- too much precision work with an imprecise tool: MS Paint! (PS I tried copying and pasting from FLDOT's PDF on the interchange but the drafting images don't copy, just thye background photos.)

5. Separate the weaving streams of traffic along the road carrying 441, 7 and 9 underneath the Turnpike Connector to eliminate dangerous crossing of traffic to and from the Turnpike from all other traffic to all points north and east.

6. Extend the Turnpike Connector southbound to merge into the I-95 further south on the Interstate, i.e., at the Biscayne canal, just off the photo.

7. Widen the Turnpike Mainline feed-in to and from 826 (NW 163rd St) between the NW 7th Avenue Extension and the on-ramp from I-95 southbound, including the bridge over the railroad tracks.

8. Add new ramps from the 441-7-9 highway to the I-95 northbound, US 441 northbound and 826 (NW 163 St) eastbound. This work includes the construction of two new bridges over the I-95 to replace the old one that will be torn down. Two of the ramps will duck under the 826 (NW 163rd St) bridge over the I-95.

9. Add a new off ramp from the I-95 to 826 (NW 163rd St) eastbound and 441-7 northbound. This ramp splits south of the two new bridges for the highway carrying 441-7-9.

10. Update the pavement and safety features to the I-95 Expressway.

11. Remodel or replace a section of the I-95 Express Lane viaduct and include ramps for a new connector viaduct to the planned 826 H-O-T lane.

12.  Rework the I-95 / 441 / 826 / ramp system within the interchange itself. This involves repaving and rebuilding roadways and relocate a certain ramp from 441-7 northbound to I-95 northbound, to eliminate a bad reverse curve that tucks underneath a bridge, which will be torn down.

13. Renovate or replace the 441 / SR 7 northbound overpass to accommodate ramp changes and the I-95 Express Lane viaduct changes.

14. Repave and remodel the surface streets (NW 163rd St and NW 2nd Ave) on the east side of the interchange, including.the traffic-lighted intersection.

Phew! That's quite a lot. You can get a PDF of the State's (STILL) planned changes to this ugly mess by googling "Florida DOT Golden Glades Interchange" or by clicking here.

Next I will show you what can come next so that motorists travelling east on the Palmetto Expressway won't have to stop at a red light to get to the Turnpike and motorists travelling south on the Turnpike won't have to do the same to get to I-95 North.