SR-826/Palmetto Expressway From SR-93/I-75 to the Golden Glades Interchange SIMR
In October 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation received approval from the Federal Highway Administration for the Systems Interchange Modification Report, supporting the implementation of improvements along the segment of State Road 826, Palmetto Expressway, extending from I-75 to the Golden Glades Interchange in Miami Dade County, Florida.
Proposed improvements identified in the PD&E Study involve the construction of new express lanes along the Palmetto Expressway mainline connecting to I-95 express lanes, capacity improvements at the State Road 826 interchanges, a southbound express lane connector from Florida’s Turnpike, and ramp improvements at the Golden Glades Interchange.
Subsequent to the approval of the Palmetto Expressway SIMR in 2016, the FDOT identified additional network improvements within the Golden Glades Interchange to further enhance traffic operations. These involve the introduction of a modified ramp to connect the existing northbound I-95 express lanes directly to the Turnpike Spur, whereas in the existing configuration, the northbound express lanes traffic merges with general use traffic before accessing the Turnpike Spur.
The SIMR Reevaluation compares traffic operations for the 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept, and the previously approved 2016 SIMR Design Concept. The findings provide the necessary justification for implementation of the 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept.
The proposed 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept was developed in coordination with the FDOT and Florida Turnpike Enterprise. This coordination included numerous consultations and meetings with project design teams for the adjacent I-95 Master Plan Project, Turnpike PD&E Study, and the Golden Glades Interchange Improvement Projects.
The analysis years for the SIMR Re-evaluation were established as Existing Year, 2011, Opening Year, 2025 and Design Year, 2040. Operations analyses were performed for the design year to demonstrate operational acceptance of the proposed design modifications.
An analysis of the 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept was performed in accordance with the related MLOU and the FDOT’s Interchange Access Request Users’ Guide. The following results and conclusions were reached.
The 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept satisfies the FHWA’s Policy on Access to the Interstate System.
The 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept provides better traffic operations along the I-95 Northbound General Use Lanes and I-95 Express Lanes when compared to the 2016 SIMR Design.
The 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept generates higher operating speeds along the I-95 mainline. Overall operating speeds along, I-95 General Use Lanes increase from approximately 30 miles per hour to 36 miles per hour.
The proposed relocation of the State Road 826 Express Lanes ingress and egress points, per the 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept, will facilitate better access to the express lanes for the industrial and commercial areas located west of the Golden Glades Interchange. This improvement in access to the express lanes was a primary objective of the proposed design change.
An assessment of safety conditions along I-95 Northbound indicate that the segment from south of Northwest 151st Street to the Golden Glades Interchange is a high crash location. Traffic congestion and complex weaving activities are probable contributing causes for the high crash rates along this segment of I-95. The 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept will reduce this crash risk by providing congestion relief and reducing the complex weaving maneuvers. In addition, the 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept will mitigate the risk of queue spillback into the express lanes at the existing egress point at Northwest 151st Street. These safety benefits are not offered in the 2016 SIMR Design Concept.
Based on the findings, the 2018 SIMR Re-evaluation Design Concept is offered as a partial replacement for the previously approved 2016 SIMR Design Concept.
This SIMR Re-Evaluation was approved by FDOT Central Office and Federal Highway in May 2019.