Florida DOT Improves Krome Avenue in Miami
The 36-mile-long, $300 million Krome Avenue project in Miami-Dade County aims to improve safety and increase capacity in a rural and western part of the county.
“The purpose of these projects is to address safety of the corridor by improving the operational and capacity needs,” says Heather M. Leslie, Spokesperson for the project on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). “It will also improve regional connectivity and accommodate future travel demands of the corridor regarding safety, flooding, mobility, water quality, economic competitiveness and the preservation of the existing roadway as a high-quality transportation facility.”
Krome Avenue was built in 1962 to 1963 from U.S. 1 to U.S. 27 as a rural arterial roadway. FDOT began studying expanding Krome to four lanes in the mid-1980s, but the project was put on hold. FDOT began studying it again in 2003.
The work entails reconstructing the existing two-lane undivided roadway into a four-lane divided roadway, with 12-foot-wide lanes. The improvements also include building three new bridges, full inside and outside shoulders, a 40-foot median with guardrails and a 10-foot shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path; and installing a self-contained drainage system and new lighting; and upgrading traffic signals and road signs. The improvements aim to reduce the number of fatalities along the avenue.
FDOT has already installed flexible plastic poles in the middle of the roadway to discourage vehicle passing and decrease accidents along the corridor. Those poles will be removed when the construction is complete. A 40-foot median will replace them.
The department also has enhanced traffic signaling; installed street lighting and audible and vibratory pavement markings. Flashing beacons to warn of signalized intersections were also installed.
“These projects will also increase mobility to commuters, tourists and the freight community,” Leslie says.
Work throughout the Krome Avenue corridor was broken into multiple phases to maintain one northbound and one southbound travel lane open at all times. Traffic shifts have been implemented to guide motorists through the work zone and to allow for operations within new areas.
“The overall corridor improvements include major underground drainage improvements, as well as constructing new bridges to accommodate the widened roadway,” Leslie continues. “While this is a more rural part of Miami-Dade County, it is heavily traveled – in particular during morning and afternoon rush hours. Being able to perform the work with minimal impacts to traffic and the adjacent property owners has required extensive coordination.”
Lane closures are limited to overnight hours when traffic is lessened along Krome Avenue. The teams and community outreach specialist work with the adjacent property owners to ensure access is maintained and to minimize overall project impacts as much as possible, Leslie says. The department also works with Miami-Dade County to optimize the traffic signal timing along the corridor to maintain efficient traffic flow.
FDOT divided the project into 12 separate contracts. February 2015 marked the start of the first construction project.
The five projects north of SW 8 Street/Tamiami Trail have been completed and the roadway is in its final configuration.
The 3.2-mile, $18.9 million segment 249615-5, from MP 10.395 to Okeechobee Road was completed by Halley Engineering Contractors of Hialeah, Florida, in March 2017. The company also completed section 249615-7, from MP 5.122 to MP 8.151. Construction on the 3-mile, $19 million section wrapped up in August 2016.
General Asphalt of Miami finished the 2.8-mile, $17.7 million section 249615-8, from MP 8.151 to MP 10.935, in December 2016. The company also completed section 249615-6, from MP 2.754 to MP 5.121. That 2.4-mile, $13.4 million project finished in February 2017. That same month, General Asphalt also completed the 2.5-mile, $13 million section 249615-2, from North of SW 8 Street/Tamiami Trail to MP 2.754.
“The completed project segments north of SW 8 Street/Tamiami Trail were completed ahead of schedule,” Leslie says. “And the department has received positive feedback from motorists who appreciate the project enhancements.”
Two Krome projects are under way from SW 8 Street/Tamiami Trail to SW 88 Street/Kendall Drive. Odebrecht of Coral Gables, Florida, began working on a $59 million, nearly 7-mile section in February 2015. That project is scheduled for completion in April.
General Asphalt received the $33.3 million contract for a 3.5-mile section, which began in September 2016 and is expected to be complete by the end of this month.
Segments south of SW 136 Street are in the design phase. Those sections include the 3.1-mile segment 427369-3, from SW 184 Street to SW 136 Street, expected to cost $19 million. This project has a tentative start date of October 2018, with an anticipated completion date of July 2021.
Section 427369-2, from SW 232 Street to SW 184 Street, is 3 miles long and anticipated to cost $27 million. It also is expected to start in October 2018 and finish in July 2021.
Two sections, 427369-1 and 405575-9, totaling 9 miles, will be let together, at an estimated cost of $39 million. This project from SW 312 Street to SW 232 Street, is anticipated to start in September 2019 and finish in June 2022.
The last three sections will likely be let together. They include three connections from Krome Avenue to U.S. 1 truck Bypass. These three sections are anticipated to cost $16 million and are planned to start October 2019 and complete in December 2021.
“The teamwork between the contractors and the department has been wonderful,” Leslie says. “The department prioritized the Krome Avenue projects to construct a safer corridor for everyone. Every team member gives their all to work toward the common goal of reducing the number of fatalities along the corridor and building a safer Krome Avenue for the community to enjoy.”