With hopes of minimizing traffic caused by box trucks at one of the city’s main intersections, the Doral City Council unanimously approved several construction projects that will break ground in 2017.
Last week, the council entered into an agreement with the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to build a flyover ramp from Northwest 117th Avenue to the northbound side of the Florida Turnpike, giving heavy trucks direct access to the Turnpike.
The council also agreed to build a pedestrian bridge above Northwest 41st Street, connecting the north and south halves of the Turnpike Trail. A slip ramp for local traffic will also be constructed on 117th Avenue.
“Doral Boulevard essentially divides the retail and residential half of the city from the commercial-industrial half,” explained Joan Shen, the city’s transportation adviser. “By providing a direct route to the Turnpike, we eliminate trucks from our three main avenues trying to turn left onto Doral Boulevard and slowing traffic flow.”
The price tag for the projects totals $15.6 million. However, under the agreement, Doral will only have to cough up $3.2 million, while the Florida Turnpike Enterprise pays the other $12.4 million.
“A $3 million investment that brings more than $12 million in infrastructure and traffic relief? That’s a good deal,” Mayor Luigi Boria said.
The desire for the new additions stems back to 2008, when the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Office noted that freight traffic on Doral Boulevard (Northwest 41st Street) was increasing and causing significant bumper-to-bumper traffic.
In 2013, a study by the Metropolitan Planning Office “confirmed the benefit of a flyover ramp giving heavy trucks direct access to the Turnpike. The City Council quickly endorsed the idea of a flyover ramp in November 2014 and garnered the support of the county commissioners in 2015,” said Maggie Santos, a Doral city spokeswoman. “With this broad coalition of support, the [Florida Turnpike Enterprise] agreed to add the flyover ramp and the pedestrian bridge to their planned 2017 widening project on the Turnpike.”