Starting Monday, drivers heading north on State Road 826, the Palmetto Expressway, will have to take a new exit if they want to go east on State Road 836, the Dolphin Expressway, or exit at Flagler Street or Northwest 72nd Avenue.
They will have to exit just north of Southwest Eighth Street, instead of staying on 826 northbound and taking the ramp at 836 as they do now.
The new exit is part of the massive $560-million overhaul of the 826-836 interchange near Miami International Airport . The project, which received federal stimulus money, is expected to be completed in 2015, replacing the current interchange with a series of soaring ramps linking the two busy expressways.
“This is going to be a major shift for those drivers that are going northbound on 826 and want to access West Flagler, 836 eastbound or 72nd Avenue,” said Oscar Gonzalez, a spokesman for the 826-836 project. “Right now what they’re doing is driving straight north and they’re exiting right before 836, going to the east.”
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But as of Monday, drivers will have to get used to a new way of reaching 836, Flagler and 72nd Avenue.
“They’re going to have to take a new exit that’s right after Southwest Eighth Street,” said Gonzalez. “They will have to exit about a mile earlier, and then they can either access Flagler Street or if they keep going they can stay on the right and go to 72nd Avenue or stay on the left and connect with eastbound 836.”
Gonzalez said that as of Monday drivers on Calle Ocho and Flagler who want to go northbound on 826 also will have to take the new exit.
“All those people are going to be forced onto this new ramp,” said Gonzalez. “Anybody getting on northbound 826 from Eighth Street and Flagler will be forced onto this new ramp. If they wanted to continue northbound, on 826, there will be a slip ramp, an offshoot, from the new ramp.”