Palmetto Expressway construction to affect southbound traffic

If you commute on the Palmetto Expressay, be prepared for a change in lanes starting Thursday.

All southbound Palmetto Expressway/State Road 826 lanes will be shifted to the left after the Northwest 25th Street exit and shifted back to existing travel lanes after the Palmetto/Dolphin Expressway interchange. The traffic shift will allow construction and will affect about a mile of the highway.

Construction spokesman Oscar Gonzalez said there are five lanes on the stretch of road. Two of the lanes lead to State Road 836 and three continue south.

“The northbound lanes were shifted about three weeks ago to allow for the southbound shift,” he said. “This shift will not impact northbound lanes.”

Gonzalez said it typically takes a week or so for drivers to become accustomed to new traffic patterns.

Esperanza Reynolds, who lives in Miami Lakes, said she could see the road changes creating “a real nightmare for the public.”

If the traffic pattern affects the road significantly, Reynolds said, she’ll avoid the Palmetto — even if that means using Interstate 95.

The change is expected to be in place for 10 to 12 months. Gonzalez recommends that commuters budget extra time while everyone adjusts.

The traffic change was expected to affect roads overnight Wednesday, with all southbound lanes on State Road 826 closed from Northwest 25 Street to south of State Road 836 to prepare for Thursday morning’s shift.

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