Widening of Wiles Road, University Drive discussed

Two major roadways in Coral Springs will be widened, one within the next two years and the other when funding is available.

The design for the second phase of the Wiles Road widening project, from Riverside Drive to Rock Island Road, will be completed by April. The four-lane road will be converted to six lanes. Construction is expected to begin by June 2017.

There is no funding currently set aside for widening University Drive from Cardinal Road to Sawgrass Expressway, from four lanes to six lanes, but the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is expected to start right-of-way acquisition in 2017. The 1.7-mile stretch is one of the roads that figure in the 2013 Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Improvement Program and the State Transportation Improvement Program.

The Wiles Road project will include construction of three 11-foot lanes and five-foot bike lanes on both sides. The existing signals will be replaced with mast arms, Marwan Mufleh of Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., the firm that is in charge of designing the project, told city officials at a recent workshop.

According to the agreement between the county and the FDOT, the design cost will be shared equally by the two parties. The comprehensive plan is to widen Wiles Road from University Drive to State Road 7.

The city can opt for having sound walls constructed as part of the project but will have to pay for acquiring the land needed for construction. The county will pay 50 percent of the cost of construction of the walls, Mufleh said.

The project is being taken up as the volume of traffic on the road is more than its capacity, according to staff working on the project. The average daily traffic count on Wiles Road, which was 34,244 two years ago, is more than the road’s capacity of 33,200. By 2020, the volume is projected to increase to 39,633, making the road a failure.

The University Drive widening project is currently in the design phase and will include 11-foot lanes and seven-foot buffered bike lanes and six-foot sidewalks. The stretch from Northwest 40th Street to Wiles Road will either be reconstructed or widened and resurfaced. No reconstruction of the road is being planned on the stretch from Wiles Road to Sawgrass Expressway.

“I like bike lanes, but I don’t like them right next to cars,” said Vice Mayor Larry Vignola. “More cyclists are hit by vehicles in Florida than in any other state. I would like the bike lanes to be near the sidewalk, above the curb.”

Input will be sought from the city, as well as the public, for the project, said Tish Burgher of Quest Corporation of America, a company that provides public information services for the department throughout the state. A citizen’s advisory committee, with representatives from the neighborhoods that are affected, will be formed. One-on-0one meetings will be held with business owners in the area, she said.

The project is expected to cost $25 million, said Colette Moss, project manager and DRMP vice president. “We hope to get construction funded in five years.”

The existing daily traffic in the University Drive stretch varies from 28,000 to 33,000 vehicles per day. The traffic volume at the University Drive-Wiles Road intersection, as well the University Drive-Westview Drive intersection, is more than what is acceptable by normal traffic standards. A traffic increase of 45 to 78 percent is expected along the road by 2040.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-cspf-roads-1118-20151116-story.html

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