Q: Beautiful palm trees and plants are being planted at the interchange of Interstates 95 and 595. If a hurricane hits South Florida, what is the plan to quickly clear the trees and restore access to the roads?
Lilli Bourque, Plantation
A: Clearing debris is the responsibility of whoever maintains the road.
In the case of the interchange, the landscape contractor will be responsible for maintaining it for three years after the installation is completed, said Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Barbara Kelleher.
The state is spending $5.9 million on the I-95/I-595 makeover. When completed in the spring, there will be hundreds of flowering trees and large palms along tiered stone terraces on the slopes of the ramps. There will also be two retention ponds and an irrigation system.
The DOT is required by law to spend 1.5 percent of its construction budget on landscaping.
Q: The school zone sign and flashers on westbound Broward Boulevard east of Interstate 95 are difficult to see even in the dark. The flasher in the westbound direction recently stopped working completely. There's also a sign missing designating the end of the school zone on westbound Broward.
Jim Wilkie, Fort Lauderdale
A: Broward County signal technicians initially replaced the westbound flasher with a stronger used beacon that was available. A shipment of new beacons was due to arrive this month.
In the interim, drivers may have noticed a small crack in the bulb that is causing white light to seep through when the yellow signal is flashing.
The signals in both directions should flash between 6:30 to 7:55 a.m. and 2:25 to 2:55 p.m. on regular school days and 12:25 to 12:55 p.m. on early release days. The signals are programmed according to schedules provided to traffic engineers by the Broward County school board prior to the start of each school year.
A second "end school zone" sign on westbound Broward is being installed this month.
Q: Who had the bright idea to fix the Tri-Rail tracks on Palmetto Park Road west of Interstate 95 right before Christmas? Palmetto Park is an alternate route for many to Town Center of Boca Raton. What happened to doing this in the off-season?
Tom Schaefer, Boca Raton
A: Jacksonville-based CSX maintains the tracks and is responsible for repairs which closed the crossing for about five days from December 13 to 17.
In response to complaints from the public about why the work wasn't scheduled after the holidays, a spokesman for the company told Sun Sentinel news partner CBS 12: "We apologize that the work is creating a temporary inconvenience but the long-term benefits of a smoother crossing for motorists will be a positive."
If there's a bright spot, it's that starting in December 2014, Tri-Rail will assume responsibility of track maintenance and will be coordinating crossing repairs, so the decisions will be made locally."
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