SB closures on I-95 near downtown Miami, I-395 go into effect

MIAMI (WSVN) - Some major driver detours have gone into effect this week on Interstate 95 near downtown Miami, as crews begin construction on a massive multimillion-dollar project on the busy highway.

Local drivers who spoke to 7News said they are not looking forward to the nighttime closures that went into effect at 10 p.m., Monday.

“You’re going to hear a lot of beeping, a lot of different sounds going on at night,” said driver Anna Morillo.

“No, you’re crazy. All lanes? It’s gonna back everything up until morning time,” driver Sean Bonny said.

Over the next three weeks, the massive undertaking will close critical parts of I-95.

“Closures are going to be done during the nighttime. First closure starts Monday,” said Oscar Gonzalez III, senior community outreach specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation.

From Monday through Wednesday, a southbound stretch of the highway will be closed completely, at night into the early morning hours.

“Between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., all southbound lanes on I-95 between I-195 and I-395 will be closed,” said Gonzalez.

The preferred detour for drivers looking to go downtown is to take I-195 East and get off at the North Miami Avenue exit.

“You already have to plan out. Even if you’re going 15 minutes away, you have to leave like an hour ahead of time,” said Morillo.

This week, it’s I-95 south. Northbound lanes in the same stretch will be shut down during the nighttime hours the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in October.

Drivers said it’s hard to keep up with all the changes.

“This is ridiculous. It takes up so much of your time. It causes so much frustration,” said driver Tyrone Jackson.

“I’m not going on there,” driver Irmarie Alvarez said. “I’m not getting on there. If it’s gonna take less time to complete it if it’s being done this way, then might as well go ahead.”

The road closures are part of a five-year, $800 million reconstruction project reshaping Miami’s main roadways.

The project, called Connecting Miami, will include adding double decker roadways along the Dolphin Expressway, repaving parts of I-95 and adding a signature bridge over Biscayne Boulevard into downtown.

The first phase of the project is installing new overhead highway signs.

“We have to close the entire roadway during the operation,” said Gonzalez. “There’s going to be a lot of equipment, and we obviously don’t want cars driving underneath.”

Officials with the Department of Transportation said the closures may extend into the week of Oct. 9 and 10 if necessary.

For a more detailed look at alternate routes south of I-95, click here. To find northbound detours, click here.

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