By Kevin Deutsch
State authorities are asking the public to weigh in on a proposed project to widen the Sawgrass Expressway from six to ten lanes within a three-mile area.
The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a Design Public Information Meeting about the project at the Tamarac Community Center, 8601 W. Commercial Boulevard in Tamarac, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 29.
Alternatively, online participants can join a virtual version of the meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 using their computer, tablet, smartphone, or by telephone in a listen-only mode.
The state infrastructure project would widen a three-mile segment of the Sawgrass Expressway (State Road 869) from north of Atlantic Boulevard to north of Sample Road, authorities said.
The widening would increase the number of tolled travel lanes from six to ten lanes.
However, the additional lanes would not open until adjacent widening projects are completed. State officials did not provide a timeline for the potential opening.
The project would include pavement reconstruction, pavement milling and resurfacing, and a reconfiguration of the Sample Road Interchange to improve safety and traffic flow, according to FDOT.
“The project will provide additional capacity, enhance safety and accommodate future traffic volumes resulting from increased population in Broward County,” FDOT said in a written announcement.
In addition to widening the expressway, the project would:
– Widen existing bridges over Sample Road and a nearby drainage canal.
– Convert the existing Sample Road interchange to a partial “Diverging Diamond Interchange.”
– Replace and upgrade the state’s existing Intelligent Transportation System in the area, including communication and traffic monitoring devices.
– Replace the existing roadway lighting system in the area with LED lighting.
For the Sample Road portion of the project, authorities would improve safety with a “curve design which results in slower speeds,” according to FDOT.
The project would also improve safety on Sample Road by “reducing the number of times vehicles path cross, merge or diverge,” reduce potential wrong-way traffic entry onto ramps, and improve sightlines for turning drivers, authorities said.
Anyone planning to attend the public information meeting should register at www.SawgrassAtlantictoSample.com.
“This meeting will give interested persons an opportunity to review the project design and ask questions about the proposed improvements,” according to an FDOT letter sent to Coral Springs property owners. “Displays that illustrate the proposed improvements will be available at the meeting, along with informational videos.”
Anyone wishing to submit written or verbal comments or questions can do so at the meeting or can contact Project Manager Teresa Price at Teresa.Price@dot.state.fl.us or by phone at 407-264-3440.
All comments received with postmarks of Oct. 10 or earlier will be included in the records for the meeting, according to FDOT.
The widening project is currently in its design phase. State authorities have acquired the right of way for the project, as well as the funding appropriation, according to FDOT.
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.