Drivers of the heavily traveled major arterial State Route (SR) 25 Okeechobee road in Miami will soon find their rides safer and more efficient due to a $105.6 million project currently underway.
RK&K is a year into their work on the significant State Route, 25/Okeechobee Road project in Miami-Dade County for the Florida Department of Transportation District 6 which will improve travel for the 36,000 drivers that use it daily.
Over the course of the four-year contract, RK&K’s Construction Management team is responsible for administration of the construction contract reconstructing Okeechobee Rd. to cross NW 116th Way via a second-level overpass. They are also constructing six new bridges, reconstructing Okeechobee Road with new concrete pavement, constructing five new signalized intersections, installing 161 light poles, and constructing various ITS, utility, drainage, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and signing and pavement marking improvements.
“Okeechobee Rd. is a major north-south corridor in Miami-Dade County and it’s a hurricane evacuation route as well. So, it’s a very important roadway in terms of getting people around in South Florida,” said Director of Construction Inspection/Field Enrique Tamayo, PE.
Of the six bridges the team is constructing, Tamayo explains two of the bridges will elevate a principal intersection that is heavily congested due to three signalized intersections within a short area.
“What we’re going to do is elevate part of Okeechobee Rd. itself to a T-intersection. The drivers who wish to travel north-south along Okeechobee Rd. are going to be at an elevated grade, so they don’t mix with those that want to stay locally at the lower level.”
This separation of traffic will help reduce congestion by approximately 50% in the industrial and commercialized area which struggles with heavy truck traffic.
Tamayo added this large-scale project also requires continuous, transparent communication and “multifaceted” coordination with its many stakeholders and affected communities.
“Not only are we engineers and construction managers, but also we have to be sensitive to the needs of the communities that we work in as well.”
The team’s work has been shaped by the unique needs and features of the area and input from the stakeholders. To better deal with the area’s large amount of commercial truck traffic, the project includes concrete pavement, a stronger and longer-lasting solution than asphalt. The reconstruction effort also included installation of a 9 ½ foot drainage pipe under Okeechobee Rd. to canals on both sides, to best accommodate the needs of an environmentally sensitive area.
“There’s a lot of moving parts and pieces for a project of this size and significance,” said Tamayo. “But we have a great team and are excited to see how our work continues benefitting Miami-Dade drivers.”