Despite having recently spent hundreds-of-millions of dollars to widen and extend the Dolphin Expressway, there is already a new effort to try and squeeze even more capacity on the perpetually congested highway. According to MDX, the eastbound shoulder between the 826 interchange and the NW 72nd Ave on-ramp is being converted into a new travel lane in a futile attempt to keep up with traffic demand. To account for the elimination of breakdown lanes, the speed limit will be permanently lowered to just 45 mph along this stretch. There goes another $800,000 in a desperate move to reduce congestion and justify millions spent on highway construction that will never do anything to fix Miami-Dade’s long-term mobility crisis.

Photo: Wikipedia

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11 Responses to Another Desperate Attempt to Relieve Congestion on 836

  1. Eddie Suarez - Kpeste99 says:

    Tell me again why we don’t have an 826NB to 826WB connection? Don’t we have to currently go east on 826, using the suspect ramp, exit 836, then get back onto 836 to go west?

    What if they make a westbound ramp? won’t that help alleviate congestion? Yes they’d have to knock something down because who ever thought we may need to go west on 836 and allowed condos, houses, offices, warehouses to be built in that same spot…. Those folks can just move into one of the many empty condo units.

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  2. Dave says:

    You would think traffic engineers would know it adding a lane for a short distance does nothing to improve traffic because after that distance those cars have to squeeze back down to fewer lanes again causing a backup and getting rid of whatever time was saved by having the extra lane in the first place. See what happens on the Palmetto northbound just between Bird Rd and Flagler where it goes from 4 lanes to 7 then back to 4. There is a short loosening up of traffic but it quickly jams up again near Flagler when everyone has to squeeze back into the reduced lanes.

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  3. Chris Mora says:

    The speed limit is actually 35 MPH. I noticed it yesterday on my way home from work.

    The lane actually becomes the exit ramp (much further on) to 57th Ave.

    I’m lucky to drive an opposite commute (leaving downtown in the AM, and coming back in the PM) but I highly doubt this will help the congestion at peak times. At least people will obey the speed limit since they have no choice with the stop and go traffic.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    How bout mass transit instead.

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  5. Steven says:

    I think there is a hidden agenda here at play. I know right now the Federal Government’s highway spending is far superior to its transit project spending. Even more, I wouldn’t be suprized if there were some Federally backed grant for adding capacity to roadways without having to go through major construction.

    I really don’t blame MDX for this one since they are just taking what they have and trying to make something better. Since MDX is in the buisness of highways and not other modes of transit, this sort of project is actually pretty innovative a solution.

    In my opinion, this is going to really negatively effect traffic. While I can’t say that I drive this area very frequently, I can say that usually around this area there is almost always a broken down car on the shoulder. Now those cars will end up in lanes of traffic!

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  6. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Given how poorly Miami drivers have grasped the “merge” concept, I can’t wait to see what kind of bottleneck will form when the lane ends or worse yet: when someone actually uses the shoulder for its intended purpose.

    I can justify (barely) using the shoulder for public buses the way we do on the 878 and 874, but widespread use is insane. Why doesn’t MDT have an express East-West Bus running on the shoulder?

    Eddie- We don’t because the 826/836 projects were hastily built and were never completed. Just now is when the FDOT is getting around to completing them both. Note: the limited access along Le Jeune Rd to the airport was initially conceived back when the 836 was built but never executed due to the cost at the time…

    Dave- I think this is a matter of just doing something to pacify the public. Dumb, I know, I couldn’t agree more, but the MDX engineers know there isn’t any sort of reasonable alternative that they can create (ie, transit…)

    Chris- 35 mph may only be because of the construction going on.

    Anon- I’m with you…

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  7. Ryan says:

    Eddie: All that demolition across the canal southeast of the interchange is for eventual interchange improvements. The MDX Capital Plan includes partial money for design and ROW acquisition for a full high-speed SR 826 / SR 836 interchange, due for construction in another 18 months.
    http://fdotpalmetto.com/p-826836.html

    Anonymous: The East-West Metrorail study has been stuck in a political quagmire.
    http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/corridor/ew_corridor/ew_project_description.asp

    Stephen: There’s no hidden agenda there, it’s Federal and State Government policy to spend more on highways than transit.

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  8. Chris Mora says:

    The signs looked pretty permanent and my “construction alerts” from the 511 site stopped coming in.

    I’ll check again on the way home tonight.

    My favorite part of that stretch of the 836 are the slow downs right at the peak of the hill as if the drivers do not know if the road is going to continue or not…

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The county needs to revive the eastern part of the east-west metrorail line…remember that one, which got a record of decision in 1997, with the subway
    from the orange bowl to the port?

    The one we were supposed be ready to build, if only we would vote for the approval of the People’s transportation plan? Yeah, that one…swept under the rug, dismissed as too ambitious, too expensive, and too far in the future to get any real support (or provide any real opportunities for graft……)

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  10. Chris Mora says:

    Here are a few photos I took of the speed limit signs.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/christopher.mora/New836Lane

    I guess we’re both right.

    It seems the stretch of 836 around the Palmetto has been lowered to 45 MPH while the new lane is 35 MPH.

    The last photo shows how the 35 MPH lane almost immediately becomes the exit lane for 57th ave.

    (…the traffic was stop and go so I had time to take these – 12:30pm)

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  11. Ryan Sharp says:

    Thanks for your effort and involvement Chris.

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