For a number of years, all of us have experienced the inconvenience of the I-595 construction. I have always said that the inconvenience is short term pain for long term gain. Once the improvements are completed, our drivers will experience significantly less traffic congestion. Fortunately, the project is on target to be completed in the summer of 2014. The project includes the reconstruction of the Florida’s Turnpike Interchange, the addition of auxiliary lanes on the I-595 mainline, operational improvements to frontage roads, the addition of braided ramps and bypass ramps between SR 84 and I-595, and a new reversible express lanes system in the I-595 median.
The three tolled, reversible express lanes are on schedule to be open by spring 2014. All motor vehicles, including trucks, will be allowed to use the Express Lanes. All users will be charged a toll and must have a SunPass transponder and an associated pre-paid account. No cash transactions will be allowed. The amount of the tolls will be based on a system known as congestion pricing and will be displayed on electronic message signs prior to the entry points to the Express Lanes. Tolls will vary and be higher during peak periods, when there are more commuters on the highway, and lower during non-peak hours.
The reversible lanes will typically be open on weekdays to eastbound traffic between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. and for westbound drivers between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m. The Express Lanes will normally be closed between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. for routine maintenance. On weekends, the Express Lanes will normally be open in the eastbound direction only. There will be entrances and exits to the Express Lanes in each direction. Eastbound drivers will enter from access points west of 136th (i.e. I-595, I-75, and Sawgrass Expressway) and exit either to Florida’s Turnpike or east of SR 7. Westbound drivers will enter from I-595 west of I-95 or from Florida’s Turnpike and exit after 136th Avenue before the I-75/Sawgrass Expressway interchange.