By Steve Plunkett

Final asphalt paving completed? Check.

Drainage ponds at Glades Road interchange done? Check.

Tolls being collected on Interstate 95’s new express lanes? Check.

The clock is winding down on the Florida Department of Transportation’s multiyear $148 million project to add toll lanes on I-95 from south of Glades Road to south of Congress Avenue, raze and rebuild the Clint Moore Road overpass between Congress and Yamato Road, and build a diverging diamond interchange, in which traffic on Glades flows to the left side in each direction above the highway.

The agency started collecting express lane tolls in both directions on Nov. 18. And Dec. 1 marks day 1,627 of 1,680 planned construction days and the work being 96.8% completed.

“We are anticipating final acceptance ahead of schedule,” project spokesperson Andi Pacini said.

But it will be years before the express lanes, or “managed lanes” in FDOT lingo, are extended north through Delray Beach and beyond, said Guillermo “Billy” Canedo, the agency’s district communications manager.

The FDOT is currently conducting a Project Development & Environment — or PD&E — study to provide additional managed lane capacity along I-95 from south of Linton Boulevard to north of Okeechobee Boulevard, he said.

“The design and construction phases are currently unfunded in the department’s Draft Tentative Work Program for Fiscal Years 2025 to 2029,” Canedo said. “The expected completion date of the study is May 2025.”

Boca Raton’s diverging diamond interchange, or DDI, opened on April 3. Pacini said the FDOT’s traffic operations team continues to work with the city’s Traffic Engineering

Department to observe, modify and optimize signal timing for all movements. Both the FDOT and the city continue to emphasize that the posted speed limit within the DDI is 35 mph.

Still ongoing are installation of small signs, laying of sod, and final thermoplastic striping.

Roadway, lighting, ramp signals and Intelligent Transportation System elements await final inspection and punch list work.

For southbound I-95 traffic, entrances to the express lanes are south of Congress Avenue and south of Glades Road; exits are north of Glades and north of Hillsboro Boulevard.

On northbound I-95, entrances are north of Hillsboro and north of Glades; exits are south of Glades and south of Congress. Customers must have an active SunPass or a Florida-compatible transponder properly affixed to the windshield.

Tolls in Miami-Dade County, the first to get I-95 express lanes, vary from 50 cents to $10.50, depending on distance, time of day and congestion. The goal is to keep traffic in the express lanes moving at an average speed of 45 to 50 mph, the FDOT says.

Motorists with hybrid or fully electric vehicles travel toll-free after registering.

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