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Officials Tour Express Lane Expansion In Broward

FORT LAUDERDALE – Some drivers say it's a never-ending line of traffic on Interstate 95.   Even at off-peak hours, the interstate has been known to be packed, frustrating drivers to no end.  "It's a catastrophe!" said driver Deborah Brown. "It's the worst experience I ever had!" exclaimed another I-95 driver.

The construction on the interstate in Broward County doesn't help the flow - at least not now, but when it's done it supposed to make things a lot better.  Crews are building express toll lanes throughout south Broward, just like the lanes in Miami-Dade.

Jay Weinstein uses those lanes every day. "Generally," Weinstein says, "I would say my experiences have been pretty positive on I-95."

The toll lanes are already in place from the 112 Expressway to the Golden Glades.

Construction is underway from the Golden Glades to Broward Boulevard.  When the project is done, it will stretch from just above downtown Miami to Downtown Fort Lauderdale.  "I think that's a good idea," Weinstein continued.  "I think it's been positive in Miami-Dade County.  I think it will be helpful to drivers in Broward as well."

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation was in South Florida touring the project along with several South Florida congressional members including Representative Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel.

They're pushing the President's call for more projects that improve infrastructure and get traffic moving better than it does now.

"There are lots of moms and dads who miss tucking their kids into bed at night," said U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Weston, "or don't get home for dinner with the family because they are mired in frustrating traffic."

When complete, the lanes will work like they do in Miami-Dade County, buses and carpools will ride for free and others will pay tolls that get more expensive as traffic builds.  The idea is to make traffic move better in both free and toll lanes.

Not everyone's sold on the idea.  "They can just expand the roads, give us more lanes," suggests Brown.   "Just make it wider.  But the tolls, I don't agree with the tolls."

The second phase of the 95 Express project in Broward County should be complete later in 2014 and the rest of the project by April of 2015, said officials to CBS4's Ted Scouten.
Officials added recent numbers show, by 2030, traffic volumes on I-95 could exceed 360,000 vehicles per day.

After that, crews will begin adding toll lanes from Broward Boulevard to Delray Beach.

Eventually, the lanes will stretch up to West Palm Beach.

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