Astaldi Construction of Davie, Florida broke ground on the new construction of I-95's newest interchange at Spanish River Boulevard. Besides the new exit at Spanish River in East Boca Raton, work includes widening Spanish River Boulevard west of FAU Boulevard, constructing 13 bridges between Spanish River Boulevard and Yamato Road, signalized intersection improvements and the addition of auxiliary lanes on Yamato Road, and sound wall construction along Yamato Road and on the east side of I-95 north of Yamato Road. When the $66.7 million project is finished in late 2016, it will give Boca Raton its fifth I-95 interchange and provide Florida Atlantic University direct access to and from the highway. It also will be the first new I-95 interchange in Palm Beach County since 2004, when a direct-access interchange to Palm Beach International Airport was completed.
Actual “earth-moving activities,’’ including test pile work and the installation of noise walls, is expected to start at either the end of the month or the beginning of February, said Andrea Pacini, project spokeswoman.
Also this week, officials from Astaldi and the Florida Department of Transportation will answer questions about the project from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Florida Atlantic University Alumni Center at 777 Glades Road. No formal presentation will be made, and the format will instead be that of an open, informal answer and comment session.
Besides the creation of the Spanish River interchange, the project will entail building a new bridge over I-95 at Spanish River, the building of new highway ramps at Yamato Road and the addition of two ramps that will allow motorists to drive directly between Spanish River and Yamato without getting on the highway.
It also will add a new lane on I-95 in both directions from the Congress Avenue interchange to Yamato and from Spanish River to Glades Road. The new noise walls will be built north of Yamato just east of I-95 and between the San de Vance community and I-95 north of Yamato.
City officials said the new interchange will reduce traffic on Glades Road, one of the most heavily traveled east-west thoroughfares in the county. Glades, south of Spanish River Boulevard, is currently the main access to FAU for northbound commuters on I-95.