Reversible Lane Gates on I-595 Have Been Hit Over a Hundred Times
Earlier this year, I-595 opened up reversible lanes in order to smooth over congestion during rush hours and generally make commuters' lives a bit easier.
In order to keep from having people accidentally drive into oncoming traffic at the wrong time, officials erected warning gates to go down during the respective times.
Shockingly, turns out the gates haven't been 100 percent effective and the barriers have been crashed into over 100 times.
The good news is that the gates kept these people from driving into oncoming traffic. So, technically, the gates are working.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, state records show that drivers have hit the warning gates 105 times since the reversible lanes were officially opened on March 26.
The reversible lanes, which cover a nine and half mile stretch between State Road 7 and I-75, moves traffic eastbound on weekdays from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then westbound from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. The express lanes are closed at least one hour before traffic is switched to make sure there are no more cars or debris on the highway.
The lanes are packed with warnings. There are 34 warning gates, five barriers, and signs everywhere that say the words "DO NOT ENTER" in all caps.
All this to keep people from driving into the wrong lane at the wrong time.
Yet, people are doing it anyway.
Some have complained that the warning signs are barely visible at night, while others say the signs sometimes flip over when blown by the wind.
Road crews have been working on changing the original signs to bigger ones.
According to FHP Patrolman Sgt. Mark Wysocky, however, all this just might be a case of people not paying attention.
"It sounds like maybe people aren't paying attention and veering to the left a bit and smacking into the gates," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky.
Similar reversible lanes are in use in places like Tampa, Dallas, and Norfolk.
In 2013, there were 65 accidents in Norfolk's reversible lanes.
As for the gates themselves, it costs roughly between $600 to $3,000 to repair, though they're built like railroad gates, which means they're flexible and made to survive strong impact.
According to the report, 70 percent of the 105 hits required only the replacement of the gate's fiberglass tips.
The good news in all this is that the stronger barriers that come down as a last resort to keep drivers away from the reversible lane have only been hit once since March.
And, according to officials, no one has yet to drive onto the opposite lane and cause a major accident.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.
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