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Florida’s Turnpike interchange in Gardens getting $1.6M upgrade

Getting on and off Florida’s Turnpike at PGA Boulevard at rush hour is about to get easier — but it’s going to take roughly six months of construction and some lane closures.

The contractor is starting work on the $1.6 million project adding new lanes, adjusting the traffic signal and installing new signage at eastbound PGA Boulevard near the entrances of PGA National and Mirasol this week. The work was scheduled to start earlier this month, but the contractor postponed his plans because of Hurricane Matthew, Project Manager Sri Mavanur said.

Facebook users, to see the latest news and updates from Palm Beach Gardens, follow @PostonGardens.

One eastbound lane of PGA Boulevard between the Avenue of the Champions/Mirasol Drive and Fairway Drive/Florida’s Turnpike will be closed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday. Drivers can expect other lane closures until the project is completed next spring, said Mavanur, of Creative Engineering Group of Florida.

“For rush hour, it will be more helpful in the way they can minimize the backups on PGA Boulevard,” he said.

Plans call for adding a second left-turn lane onto Florida’s Turnpike from eastbound PGA Boulevard and a second left-turn lane from westbound PGA Boulevard onto Fairway Drive, Mavanur said.

The single-lane ramp from westbound PGA Boulevard onto the Turnpike will become a dual right-turn lane, according to Mavanur. Workers will also redo the traffic signals at the intersection and install new signage.

The intersection improvements will address both current and future needs, said Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise spokesman Chad Huff. There are 16,800 vehicles per day that use the interchange, according to Huff.

The Turnpike’s main line runs 312 miles through 11 counties. The Palm Beach Gardens interchange opened in 1965, after city founder John D. MacArthur paid his own $600,000 for construction. He recouped the money from tolls in two years.

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