Turnpike's Commercial exit to be upgraded

Q: At the Commercial Boulevard interchange at Florida's Turnpike, drivers exiting from both directions are forced to weave to get in the correct lanes at the toll plaza to go east or west on Commercial. Southbound drivers who want to go west on Commercial have to cross paths with high-speed traffic exiting from the northbound turnpike. I can't believe the turnpike thought this was an acceptable alternative. Does it have to take a death or serious injury for something to change with this exit?

Grace King, Lauderhill

A: Relief is coming, but you'll have to wait until 2017 or 2018. That's when officials will begin converting the turnpike from I-595 to the Lantana toll plaza in Palm Beach County to electronic tolling.

The Commercial interchange is the busiest tolled interchange in Broward.

The project will involve removing the toll booths and building a new overhead gantry to collect tolls. The gantry will be located further from the Commercial intersection than the toll booths, which should provide more room for vehicles to get in the correct lane to go east or west on Commercial.

The turnpike doesn't own the land necessary to build a direct ramp from the southbound turnpike to westbound Commercial, similar to what's being done now at the Hollywood interchange.

Q: On westbound Linton Boulevard, there are no signs for Interstate 95 until right there at the interchange. Drivers always are crisscrossing to get in the correct lane to go north or south on I-95. I think more signs further in advance of I-95 are needed.

Gail Loretta, Delray Beach

A: Signs are posted on the side of the road in both directions in advance of the interchange. The signs have arrows indicating the direction of the on-ramps.

Additional overhead signs provide more direction and traffic engineers say they can be seen far enough ahead for motorists.

Other signs are usually warranted for loop on-ramps where, for example, a westbound driver makes a right turn to go south on I-95. That is the case for westbound Atlantic Avenue approaching I-95, but not on Linton, said Mo Al-Turk, assistant director of Palm Beach County's traffic division.

Q: When will the entrance to the New River Greenway north of Davie Road be opened? Construction appears to be finished, yet a concrete barrier remains — preventing people from accessing the east portion of the trail.

Bruce Berkowitz, Plantation

A: The Interstate 595 contractor is working with Broward County traffic engineers to complete signals at the intersection, including pedestrian signals that will guide bicyclists and those on foot to and from the greenway.

The work should be completed by the end of May or early June. Once the pedestrian signals are working, the temporary barrier wall and fence blocking the entrance will be removed, said Fiorella Alvarez, spokeswoman for the I-595 reconstruction.

mturnbell@tribune.com, 954-356-4155, Twitter @MikeTurnpike, Fracebook at Sun Sentinel.com/concreteideas

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