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Trooper Input Leads to Safer Exit Ramp

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Exit ramp before improvements.
Exit ramp before improvements.

Exit ramp after improvements - much safer.
Exit ramp after improvements - much safer.

Soon after the new northbound exit ramp to Southern Boulevard (Exit 97) on Florida's Turnpike in Palm Beach County opened, troopers contacted the design engineers to voice their concerns that motorists who fail to negotiate the curve and travel down the steep embankment may be in danger of crashing their vehicles. Mr. Bruce D. Seiler, Director of Highway Operations, Turnpike Enterprise, with the Florida Department of Transportation, listened to the troopers' observational experiences and immediately initiated a design review.

Troopers observed that if a motorist, traveling at a higher than posted rate of speed, failed to negotiate the curve to the right, the vehicle would travel down a steep 2:1 grade embankment, which could increase the chance of a severe crash.

A cooperative effort between FHP and DOT's Traffic Operations and Tolls and Roadway Maintenance resulted in a modification of the exit ramp. The modification consisted of reducing the slope to a 6:1 grade – a much safer ratio. This important safety modification now allows for a larger margin of error in the event motorists fail to negotiate the off-ramp. The new modification allows motorists to easily travel down the slope and come to a stop safely in the infield, if necessary.

FHP's Troop K and the Florida Department of Transportation’s Turnpike Enterprise continue to work as a team to make Florida's Turnpike as safe as it can be for the motoring public.


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