Council discusses traffic impact of bridge openings during study workshop

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 0 Comments


Miami-Dade County’s plans to place two I-75 interchanges at N.W. 170 and 154 streets might cause a massive strain on the traffic conditions in the Miami Lakes area unless scores of transportation upgrades are done, according to a new study conducted by the town.

During a recent workshop, Miami Lakes council members discussed the traffic analysis and learned different scenarios of opening the two bridges, as residents are concerned the interchanges may take the gridlock to its worst point ever with or without the American Dream Mall. 

Other planned developments in the 6.5 square-mile town could also add to the traffic gridlock, and opening the two bridges could lead to more traffic, but  keeping the bridges closed could create less traffic.

But the traffic will increase regardless, mainly on the west side of the town, over the years due to the growing population of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

According to the study, roadway improvements in the pipeline for Miami-Dade and FDOT include two underpasses at N.W. 159 and 146 streets; a realignment for N.W. 77 Street at Miami Lakes Drive; an intersection improvement for N.W. 82 Avenue at Oak Drive; a Texas U-Turn for the Palmetto Expressway; and a N.W. 87 Avenue extension to Okeechobee Road. 

Express lanes for the Palmetto Expressway and N.W. 154 Street widening and roadway upgrades from N.W. 82 Avenue to N.W. 77 Avenue is perhaps the biggest transportation improvement project.

The study also included future development projects such as Bob Graham Senior Development, Bob Graham project, Lennar’s development of single-family homes and townhouse, and Lucida development project, could also impact the traffic.

But the gist of Miami Lakes residents’ concerns is the American Dream Mall, which the County Commission approved this year.

Triple Five Group’s Mall proposal includes a 300-acre amusement theme park with retail shops, restaurants and an 1,000-room hotel.

According to Miami Lakes’ traffic improvement study, the Mall is expected to generate scores of vehicles on roads inside and outside Miami Lakes.

Opening the two bridges would still generate more traffic even if the Mall is not built. The study indicated the volume of traffic could increase by more than 35 percent daily.

Tripe Five Group had made a commitment to bankroll enhanced traffic conditions to help mitigate the impact of traffic gridlock.

According the study, additional roadway improvements west of 1-75 that are included in the build alternative with the theme park includes a turnpike interchange connection at N.W. 170 Street; a N.W. 170 Street extension from N.W. 97 Avenue to Florida’s Turnpike; and transportation improvements on N.W. 97 Avenue north of N.W. 170 Street and on N.W. 102 Avenue south of N.W. 170 Street.

According to the study, the level of service degrades at the intersections along N.W. 170 Street with or without the mall along with the opening of the two bridges during the midday and p.m. peak hours.

Some of the recommendations to mitigate the traffic in the Miami Lakes area with or without the mall includes level of service upgrades at the Palmetto Expressway at N.W. 154 Street interchange southbound and northbound ramps; improvements to N.W. 138 Street between N.W. 107 Avenue and 97 Avenue; at N.W. 186 Street between N.W. 87 and 82 avenues; and at N.W. 82 Avenue  between 170 and 186 streets.

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