What happens to traffic near a major mall, hospital, rail line and casino? If you drive in Aventura, you’ve probably hit the gridlock in the area of Biscayne Boulevard and Ives Dairy Road. Transportation leaders hope a new flyover ramp, which opened Monday, makes for a smoother trip. The ramp connects southbound drivers on Biscayne Boulevard to westbound Ives Dairy Road, a major arterial that leads to Interstate 95 from U.S. 1.
Here’s what to know about the new connection:
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE NEW AVENTURA RAMP?
Over the railroad tracks: The horseshoe ramp is designed to relieve congestion at the busy Northeast 203rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard intersection by flying over the Brightline and Florida East Coast Railway tracks, according to Heather Leslie, the senior community outreach specialist on the Florida Department of Transportation project.
Former route: A previously used ramp is now closed, according to DOT.
Detours: Drivers heading to Northeast 26th Avenue or West Dixie Highway will have to navigate detours for the next six months while construction continues, the agency said.
WHAT ARE OTHER BENEFITS OF THE RAMP PROJECT?
Improvements: In addition to the ramp, the FDOT project page says the construction also includes:
- A pedestrian bridge over the FEC tracks.
- A wider roadway along southbound U.S. 1 and eastbound 203rd Street, including the bridge.
- Improved drainage along the corridor. Updated pedestrian ramps, signs, pavement markings and lighting.
- Installation of a bicycle lane along West Dixie Highway between Northeast 202nd and 206th streets.
WHY IS THIS AREA SO CONGESTED?
Popular landmarks: The stretch of Biscayne Boulevard near Ives Dairy is a crowded crossroads. Traffic comes from the busy Aventura Mall just to the south, with restaurants, movie theaters and stores; the William Lehman Causeway from Sunny Isles Beach; Aventura Hospital, which is a trauma center and major medical center; and Gulfstream, a casino, horse racetrack and shopping complex.
Westbound Ives Dairy from U.S. 1 leads to Interstate 95, 441, and Northwest 27th Avenue and Hard Rock Stadium.
Ramp from northbound Biscayne Boulevard: Drivers traveling north on U.S. 1 will have access to the flyover next year. The access will take drivers under Biscayne and will connect with the westbound flyover. This phase will be completed by early 2024, Leslie said.
Timeframe: The $41.3 million project started in the fall of 2021 and is estimated to be finished by late 2024.