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Meeting to discuss interchange for Shula Xway on Sunset Drive

Meeting to discuss interchange for Shula Xway on Sunset Drive

By Richard Yager….
A “partial” interchange with the Shula Expressway (SR 874) on Sunset Drive is being studied by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) as part of its overall redevelopment of Kendall’s key link to the Miami-Dade expressway system.

Residents have been asked to provide input to MDX on the proposal during a public information meeting scheduled for May 4 when MDX representatives explain the project potential from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Sunset Congregational Church, 9025 SW 72 St.

“This is part of a long-range study that has been addressing improvements to SR 874 since 2004, based on existing and future traffic demand in southwest Miami-Dade,” said Tere Garcia, MDX spokesperson.

“Access to and from SR 874 at SW 72nd Street [Sunset Drive] would provide additional mobility options and improved access for area residents and businesses,” she said.

The proposed interchange would include a southbound exit ramp to Sunset and a northbound entrance ramp to SR 874. As a part of the project, sidewalks would be built in the southeast area of the interchange along Sunset Drive.

Evaluation of the interchange is being performed through a State Environmental Impact Report analyzing environmental and engineering factors associated with the proposed project and requiring public involvement and comment.

$141 MILLION IN IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS UNDERWAY ON SHULA

MDX is spending $141 million on two major projects to improve the Shula Expressway (SR 874) with a third out for bid in May that will increase that figure.

Construction of the interchange connecting SR 874 and Killian Drive is adding an additional lane on both northbound and southbound SR 874 from SW 117th Avenue to Kendall Drive, as well as noise walls and a redesigned entry and exit bridging at SW 104th Street.

That project, costing $77 million, is expected to be completed by the end of 2011, according to current MDX projections.

A second project in cooperation with Florida Department of Transportation currently is in the second year to rebuild the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) and Bird Road interchange, requiring occasional early-hour lane closures during weekends on the SR 874 ramp. MDX is contributing $64 million to rebuild the intersection to match FDOT funding.

A third project will rebuild the Shula northbound from Kendall Drive to the Palmetto Expressway interchange, scheduled to get underway in mid-2011with expanded lanes, noise walls and other improvements. No cost estimate was available during contractor bidding from MDX.

The MDX has been addressing improvements to SR 874 since 2004 based on existing and future traffic demand in southwest Miami-Dade County, noted Mario Diaz, public information officer.

SR 874 is one of the primary highways connecting southwest Miami-Dade to the rest of the county, and forecasts for population and employment growth in this area indicate a continued need for additional mobility options, he added.

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