Express Lanes On I-95 To Be Revamped With New Poles
Third time is the charm. Or so hopes the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), who has launched yet another plan to prevent dangerous “lane-diving” or weaving in and out of the express lanes of I-95 in Miami-Dade County.
Starting immediately, the current poles that define the express lanes from Downtown Miami to the Golden Glades Interchange will be substituted for new, sturdier models. They will also be placed closed together -spaced 5 feet instead of 10 feet- to discourage drivers from running the poles over.
James Wolfe, secretary for FDOT’s district covering Miami-Dade County, said drivers’ destruction of the express lanes poles on I-95 has become a significant problem since they were installed in 2008.
“When we opened the project, we spaced those three-foot plastic poles at twenty feet. We quickly narrowed that to ten-foot spacing. But we still have a problem with ten-foot," Wolfe said. "We also have drivers run over them repeatedly, and we have to replace the posts.”
Right now, FDOT pays about a million dollars annually to replace broken poles from lane-diving.
Wolfe said the new poles will look more visually intimidating to drivers considering weaving in and out of the express lanes. The closer together the poles are, the more they look like they run together in a driver’s foresight.
“We’re going to replace all the posts with a sturdier new design that should be able to spring back up after being hit up to two-hundred times – It’ll be more survivable," Wolfe said.
The cost of replacing the poles will be around 2 million dollars.
The project to replace each pole will start immediately, and Wolfe expects it to be completed by Fall 2016.
A plan in the works to add wider shoulders to the I-95 express lanes won’t be completed until 2018.