By: Diane Emeott Korzen Contributing Writer
Anyone driving down Camino Real in Boca Raton has noticed lane closures and construction work under the I-95 Overpass since August and wondered what’s going on.
Palmetto Park Road is undergoing similar work as well as a separate roadway improvement project.
In fact, work on Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT’s) “I-95 Express Lane Expansion Phase 3B-1” extends from south of Glades Road in Boca Raton to south of SW 10 Street in neighboring Deerfield Beach.
The $102 million construction project began Jan. 19 with a target completion date of Spring 2022.
Prince Contracting LLC of Ft. Lauderdale is the contractor on the I-95 express lane project, which will extend the High Occupancy Toll lanes on this stretch of highway in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The scope of work includes widening and converting the existing I-95 HOV Lanes to Managed Lanes. This will result in two tolled Express Lanes in each direction. The number of General Use lanes will remain the same, according to FDOT.
Bridge widening at Camino Real and Palmetto Park Road is underway.
Other local activities include construction of northbound and southbound auxiliary lanes between Hillsboro Boulevard and Palmetto Park Road, milling and resurfacing of I-95.
Additional project improvements involve installing guardrails, barrier walls, attenuators, shoulder gutters, and drainage, as well as temporary and permanent retaining walls, noise wall construction, sign structures, portable traffic monitoring sites, toll gantry installation, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) installation, signing and pavement markings, Express Lane markers, lighting, ramp metering signals, utility relocation, and landscape relocation, according to FDOT.
Driving south on I-95 you will notice the dredging of Hillsboro Canal, where a bridge replacement is also in progress at the I-95 overpass.
In Deerfield they are constructing a northbound auxiliary lane between the SW 10 Street entrance ramp and the Hillsboro Boulevard exit ramp, as well as reconstructing I-95 on the northbound and southbound approaches to the Hillsboro Canal bridges.
As of press time, an additional column was being installed at each of the four corners just outside the existing I-95 Overpass structure above Camino Real. A sign stated Camino Real will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a a.m. through Dec. 29.
Workers on the ground said they were in the process of constructing beams, to go overhead horizontally to eventually hold up the expanded I-95.
According to I-95 Project Spokesperson & Community Outreach Specialist Andrea Pacini, the Camino Real bridge is being widened on both Northbound and Southbound sides to accommodate the I-95 Express lanes. Camino Real, the local street, will not be widened, she added.
“As of today, [Nov. 1], all piles have been driven, and all footings and columns have been poured,” Pancini said. “Next steps are the beams. Pending items include: pouring all caps; demolition of a section of the existing bridge deck (on both I-95 Northbound & Southbound); setting the beams; and pouring the deck.”
Expected completion date of work in this neighborhood? The substructure (footings, columns, caps) should be completed by the end of this year. Beams are tentatively scheduled to be erected in January 2019, and the decks are scheduled to be poured in early Spring 2019. Total completion of the bridge operations is scheduled for late Summer 2019, weather permitting.
“This does not mean it will be open to traffic on I-95 at that time as other roadway operations must be completed first in order to facilitate the tie-ins,” Pacini said.