The new interchange will eliminate left-hand turns in front of oncoming traffic, the key safety feature. Drivers on Glades Road will switch sides of the road as they cross I-95 and then switch back. Traffic signals will control the crossovers. Rendering provided
By Steve Plunkett
Work will begin in earnest this month on the state’s four-year, $148 million plan to add express lanes to Interstate 95 through Boca Raton and into Delray Beach and to replace the Glades Road cloverleaf with a “diverging diamond interchange.”
“The primary benefit of the DDI is the seamless ingress and egress to and from the interstate,” the Florida Department of Transportation said in a video presentation to interested residents Jan. 15 at the Spanish River Library.
The diamond design shifts traffic to the left side through the interchange, eliminating left turns against oncoming vehicles and “reducing the more serious accidents typically associated with turning points,” the FDOT said.
Drivers switch sides of the road at multilane X crossings guarded by traffic signals at either end of the diamond. The synchronized signals “facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, reducing delay times and minimizing conflict points,” the agency continued. The DDI will decrease travel time, increase safety and improve mobility at the interchange and handle expected increasing traffic through 2040, it said.
The department’s video, which gives a behind-the-steering-wheel view of the diamond crossing, is posted at www.d4fdot.com/pbfdot/95_express_phase_3b2.asp
The agency’s original plan for the Glades Road interchange was to widen and resurface the existing ramps, widen the bridges over I-95 and Military Trail, and build a flyover ramp for westbound vehicles to turn north or south on the interstate. But, the diamond design was seen as a better solution for decreasing travel time, improving mobility and providing safety.
Also part of the project, an extra lane will be added from south of Glades to south of Linton Boulevard; it and the existing HOV lane will become express toll lanes. Scott Passmore, the senior project engineer, said the FDOT uses gasoline taxes to pay for maintenance of interstates and finances construction such as this with express tolls.
Express lanes in Miami-Dade County charge tolls of 50 cents to $10.50, depending on distance, time of day and congestion. Hybrid and electric vehicles travel free.
Construction crews have been working since 2018 to build express lanes from south of Southwest 10th Street in Deerfield Beach to south of Glades Road. That segment is scheduled to open in spring 2022.