Uneven pavement on Sawgrass worries drivers

Q: There is a dangerous condition with water ponding on the Sawgrass Expressway from the Sunrise toll plaza to Atlantic Boulevard. The new top layer of pavement, which was applied separately to each lane, is joined at slightly different heights creating a barrier that prevents water from draining.

Allen Levine, Parkland

A: Asphalt on the Sawgrass Expressway is being replaced between Interstate 75 and south of Atlantic Boulevard. The $7.7 million project won't be completed until early 2015.

Turnpike officials spoke to the contractor to see if there is a way improve drainage. But officials say the current road condition meets standards during construction.

"During heavy rain, structural asphalt may not drain as fast as the final layer – the friction course," said turnpike spokeswoman Christine Girardin.

Q: What's up with the traffic signal at Sunrise Boulevard and A1A? If you're southbound on A1A, you have to wait an extra long time because those traveling north or turning west on Sunrise get two cycles of the light. While I can appreciate that might be needed to get people off the beach on the weekend, during the week it is annoying for anyone traveling south. It causes people to go west on Sunrise and make a U-turn to avoid the long wait.

Michael Brown, Pompano Beach

A: The signals at A1A and both Sunrise and Northeast Ninth Street operate in tandem due to their close proximity.

Southbound A1A traffic is often held up because of the number of pedestrians who activate the signal at Ninth to cross the street and for vehicles turning left or right from Ninth onto A1A.

Under the signal's current operation, the northbound left turn phase can come up twice – either by traffic detected in the northbound left turn lane at Sunrise or when traffic on Ninth has a green light to turn right onto A1A.

But traffic engineers discovered a problem with the vehicle detectors in the eastbound Sunrise lanes at A1A, which has caused further delays when southbound A1A traffic gets a green light. Once that's fixed, you should notice some improvement.

Q: I thought noise walls were only built when a highway is widened. So why are they being added along Interstate 95 in Boynton Beach?

Rosemary Lang, Boca Raton

A: The walls going up between Lake Ida and Woolbright roads were planned 10 years ago. But they weren't built at the time I-95 was widened through the area because of design issues.

Construction began in January and should be finished this fall.

It's also not the first time the Florida Department of Transportation has added a noise wall after the widening. A noise wall was added for the Tropical Palms neighborhood in Delray Beach between Congress Avenue and Linton Boulevard in 2012 -- 10 years after the highway was widened. Design issues also held up construction of that wall.

mturnbell@tribune.com, 954-356-4155, Twitter @MikeTurnpike, Facebook at SunSentinel.com/concreteideas

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