HOV hours unlikely to be extended

Q: Can you help explain why the HOV lane hours on Interstate 95 are only from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. With longer work hours and longer commutes in South Florida, it makes sense to extend the hours. In other metro areas around the country, the hours are from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Rob Jack, Fort Lauderdale

A: The state in 2005 proposed extending the express lane hours to be from 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and 24 hours a day south of the Golden Glades interchange.

Signs were even installed with the new hours. But at the last minute, there was a groundswell of opposition. Then-state Sen. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, intervened and as a result, the state decided to stick with the existing hours.

HOV lanes are being replaced with toll express lanes, which could run as far north as Delray Beach in a few years. The state no longer enforces the HOV restrictions south of Sunrise Boulevard because of the express lane construction even though some signs state the contrary between Sunrise and Griffin Road.

Q: I live near the Yamato Road exit and the proposed Spanish River Boulevard interchange on Interstate 95. How could I get a map showing what it will look like when completed?

Clarence Smith, Boca Raton

A: Go to 95spanishriver.com. The web site has renderings of the new interchange from different angles as well as a "drive through" video that simulates the experience of driving through it.

The $67 million project includes construction of 13 bridges between Spanish River and Yamato, the addition of auxiliary lanes on Yamato and noise walls along both Yamato and the east side of I-95 north of Yamato.

Completion is set for early 2017.

Q: There seems to be something wrong with the traffic signals at southbound Interstate 95 and westbound Hillsboro Boulevard. The light stays red while the traffic light for drivers turning left to go eastbound is green for several cycles for no apparent reason.

Doug Marek, Parkland

A: The Florida Department of Transportation earlier this year changed how signals operate at the Tri-Rail railroad tracks, Southwest 12th Avenue and the I-95 southbound off-ramp.

Two major improvements occurred: The first is what's called "train pre-emption" at 12th Avenue. That means when the crossing gates are down for trains, 12th Avenue traffic trying to turn onto Hillsboro will get a green light. That didn't happen before.

Also, the signals at the I-95 southbound off-ramp are red when Hillsboro downstream of the ramp is queued up with stopped traffic.

mturnbell@sunsentinel.com, Twitter @MikeTurnpike, Facebook at SunSentinel.com/concreteideas

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