- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - It’s taken five years, but construction along Interstate 595 is finally nearing completion with reversible express lanes set to open by the end of March.

The interstate that crosses southern Broward County includes revamped interchanges at Interstate 75, the Sawgrass Expressway, Florida’s Turnpike and U.S. 441. The express lanes are scheduled to open by the end of March.

During the morning rush hour, traffic will move eastward on the reversible lanes. In the afternoons, the traffic flow will reverse for the ride home. During weekends, the lanes will be open to eastbound traffic only.

“We anticipate a dramatic improvement in travel times for both users of the express lanes, as well as those using the general purpose, non-tolled, lanes,” said Paul Lampley, the Florida Department of Transportation’s manager for the I-595 project, told The Miami Herald (https://hrld.us/1gk4WZh ).

The toll lanes will be used depending on the level of congestion in the express lanes. When more vehicles are in the lanes, the toll will rise. It will range from 50 cents to as high as $2.

A SunPass will be required for tolls.

Lampley told The Herald that project engineers are testing the express lanes. They’ve yet to determine whether they’ll start charging the tolls immediately or let the traffic flow for free until drivers get used to the new lanes.

The entry and exit points for the reversible lanes are at the I-75 and Sawgrass Expressway on the western edge and just past U.S. 441 and Florida’s Turnpike on the east.

Hours of operation for the eastbound lanes will be 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Westbound lanes will operate from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays.

Officials say the project cost $1.8 billion, with $1.2 billion covering design and construction. The remainder covers the operation and maintenance of the roadway for 35 years.

Construction on the entire project should end by June.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, https://www.herald.com

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