Spanish River I-95 exit opens, could improve traffic around university

The project is scheduled to be completed this fall.

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The new I-95 northbound Spanish River Boulevard exit. Katrina Scales | Contributing Writer

Katrina Scales, Contributing Writer

Drivers on I-95 northbound now have the option to exit the highway at the new Spanish River Boulevard interchange exit, allowing drivers to jump on FAU Boulevard from the Boca campus’ north entrance.

The $69 million project, which opened 5 a.m. Tuesday, spans more than 2.5 miles and includes 13 bridges over the highway between Spanish River Boulevard and Yamato Road, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

With traffic partially directed to the campus’ north entrance, the interchange may decrease the heavy traffic headed toward FAU’s south entrance on Glades Road.

Senior multimedia journalism major Alexandra Bayer lives north of the Boca campus and said that while she hasn’t used the new interchange yet, it sounds more appealing than Glades Road at rush hour.

“I’m on Spanish River Boulevard everyday so this is a big help. When I saw the exit being built I was like, ‘Thank God.’”

The I-95 northbound exit ramp and the improved Yamato Road exit from I-95 southbound both connect with FAU Boulevard. The new exit is 48a while Yamato is 48b.

Students can now jump from the highway onto FAU Boulevard to use the campus’ north entrance. Katrina Scales | Contributing Writer

The FDOT awarded the interchange’s construction to Astaldi Construction Corporation, while the Creative Engineering Group oversaw the project.

FDOT project spokeswoman Andrea Pacini said if weather and holidays permit, the project should be completed this fall. She added that the company’s current contract time with the FDOT runs through November, but that the project will likely be extended.

“This ramp opening activity was scheduled to occur 2 weeks ago but was delayed by Hurricane Irma,” Pacini said via email. “FDOT granted 12 weather days for Hurricane Irma impacts and it has extended contract time on this project.”

With its construction starting in January 2014, the interchange was scheduled for completion in fall 2016 but the FDOT attached 220 extra construction days, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Once completed, the construction will have widened Spanish River Boulevard west of FAU Boulevard, added extra lanes on Yamato Road, improved traffic signals at intersections, and added a sound wall along Yamato Road and on the east side of I-95 north of Yamato Road. The Spanish River exit from southbound I-95 has yet to be completed. 

Katrina Scales is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]