By Steve Plunkett
The last week of March was scheduled to be a busy one for construction teams at the new Spanish River interchange on Interstate 95.
Workers closed Spanish River Boulevard overnight March 28 to pour a bridge deck. They also planned to close Airport Road overnight March 30 for a bridge deck pour.
Also on March 30, they expected to permanently close the old northbound exit ramp to westbound Yamato Road. The exit ramp — with traffic signals, and lanes for both westbound and eastbound vehicles — was to open March 31, Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Andi Pacini said. The schedule hinged on having good weather, she added.
Work on the $69 million interchange will reach the 90 percent completion point on or about April 7, Pacini said. Crews started their work in January 2014. It will be Boca Raton’s fifth entrance/exit on I-95.
The project is now scheduled to wrap up in late September and last 1,502 days, about a month longer than planned. Pacini said weather woes and holidays caused the delay.
The I-95 southbound exit ramp over Yamato Road is the only one of 13 bridges left with substantial construction to do, Pacini said.
“We will complete the substructure in the next few weeks and will set beams in late April. These will be the last beams on the project,” she said.
The popular T-Rex Trail just west of the interstate reopened to pedestrians and bicyclists in late December after being blocked for 16 months. The trail connects De Hoernle Park and Yamato Road.
Besides the interchange, the project includes widening Spanish River Boulevard west of FAU Boulevard, building 13 bridges between Spanish River Boulevard and Yamato Road, adding auxiliary lanes and traffic signals on Yamato, and installing sound walls along Yamato and on the east side of I-95 north of Yamato.
The new interchange is expected to make the lines of motorists exiting I-95 at Glades Road shorter and ease traffic on Glades and Palmetto Park roads.
As construction continues, the interstate between Glades Road and Congress Avenue may have up to three lanes closed, as needed, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. The project area is 2.5 miles long.
By Steve Plunkett