Concessionaire I-595 Express has begun working on the largest project in the history of the Florida Dept. of Transportation, the $1.796-billion Interstate-595 Corridor Improvement Project in Broward County.
“This is such an important corridor in Florida, because I-595 connects the port, the airport, Florida’s Turnpike, I-95, I-75 and the Sawgrass Expressway,” says Joe Borello, FDOT project manager. “It has a huge economic impact with respect to traffic flow and the movement of goods.”
Successful bidder ACS Infrastructure Development, the U.S. subsidiary of Group ACS in Spain, formed I-595 Express to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the 10.5-mi stretch of road for 35 years. The team will add three, reversible express, variable-toll lanes at grade in the median of the existing highway, from Interstate 95 to Interstate 75.
“Work in the United States is important for us, maybe the most important place you can do something like this,” says Alvaro Muelas, CEO of I-595 Express. “This is the first project in Florida for us.”
The express lanes represent about one-third of the cost of the project. Two-thirds of the work includes improvements to existing general-purpose lanes, reconstruction of entrance and exit ramps and 2.2 mi of Florida Turnpike north and south of I-595; installation of sound walls; and connection of a frontage road between Davie Road and State Road 7. There are 63 new, modified or replaced bridges.
“We would never have been able to build this without a public-private partnership,” Borello says. “It would have taken more than 20 years to implement these improvements through conventional contracting methods.”
The corridor handles about 180,000 vehicles per day. Most work will take place in off-peak hours with lane closures limited to nighttime.
“Doing this amount of work and maintaining an effective traffic-control plan and a safe highway during the construction period is among the most challenging [aspects] of the project,” Borello says.
FDOT will purchase 10 diesel hybrid-electric buses for Broward County Transit and plans to begin an express-bus service during construction to ease traffic.
I-595 Express selected Dragados USA of New York as design-build contractor. GLF Construction Corp. of Miami...