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Palmetto Expressway

Routing

Florida 826 begins at U.S. 1 (Florida 5/Dixie Highway) in the vicinity of Kendall and Pinecrest as the Palmetto Expressway, which was constructed as the original bypass of downtown Miami. The Palmetto Expressway travels north, connecting Florida 878 (Snapper Creek Expressway), Florida 874 (Don Shula Expressway), Florida 836 (Dolphin Expressway), and Interstate 75/Florida 924. A mile or so north of Interstate 75, Florida 826 changes from northbound to eastbound at what is sometimes referred to as the "Big Curve." From there, Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway travels due east, connecting to Interstate 95, U.S. 441, and Florida's Turnpike at the infamously busy Golden Glades Interchange.

At the Golden Glades Interchange, Florida 826 transitions from the freeway-standard Palmetto Expressway into a four-lane divided surface street, N.E. 167th Street and N.E. 163rd Street. Florida 826 flows from N.E. 167th Street to N.E. 163rd Street via a curve near N.E. 10th Avenue. From Interstate 95 to U.S. 1, Florida 826 is also known as North Miami Beach Boulevard. Florida 826 next reaches U.S. 1 in North Miami Beach near Oleta River State Recreation Area. East of U.S. 1, Florida 826 follows Sunny Isles Boulevard (N.E. 163rd Street) along the northern edge of the state recreation area, then crosses the Intracoastal Waterway to end at Florida A1A (Collins Avenue) in Sunny Isles Beach.

Naming

The Palmetto Expressway section of Florida 826 originally consisted of two separate freeways: the Palmetto Expressway from U.S. 1 north to the Big Curve and the Golden Glades Expressway from the Big Curve to the Golden Glades Interchange (Junction Interstate 95, U.S. 441, and Florida's Turnpike). The Palmetto Expressway north-south section was named for the road it essentially replaced, which was Palmetto Road (S.W. 77th Avenue and N.W. 77th Avenue). Some of the frontage roads still retain this naming. The Golden Glades section basically replaced N.W. 167th Street. In spite of the two names, today most people refer to the entire route of Florida 826 as the Palmetto Expressway.

History

In the history of freeway construction in metropolitan Miami, Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway is one of the first freeways to be designed and constructed. Built in stages between 1958 and 1962, the freeway was originally planned as a bypass. Today, however, it has a much broader responsibility: to move commuters through the metropolitan area and provide an alternative to busy Interstate 95 and the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (Florida 821/HEFT).

As opened in 1962, the Palmetto Expressway had only four lanes with frontage roads along much of its route. The road became busier and busier as development encroached on the freeway corridor. Most of the agricultural and undeveloped land that once pervaded the freeway corridor was instead replaced with housing developments, outlying business parks, shopping centers, and more roads. Miami International Airport grew in importance through the 1960s, and the Palmetto Expressway was seen as a major route to the airport. Through the 1960s, the metropolitan area grew at an incredible rate, and the freeway could not keep up with the increasing volume of traffic. The Golden Glades Interchange, which offered a connection to Interstate 95 and Florida's Turnpike, opened in 1964, thus allowing a direct connection to the nascent Interstate Highway System. (This was exacerbated two decades later, when a second connection [with Interstate 75] was opened in October 1986.)

By the end of the 1960s, the Palmetto Expressway was clearly needed expansion and relief. It only took seven years to realize that Florida 826 needed additional lanes and possibly support from additional, unconstructed freeways. As new development spread along the corridor, the Palmetto Expressway could no longer accommodate its traffic volumes. To ameliorate these concerns, a transportation study was issued in 1969. This study called for immediate expansion of much of the route from four to six or eight lanes and for construction of the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (Florida 821/HEFT), which was referred to as the "West Dade Expressway."

So, with the beginning of a new decade, Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway began to see a variety of improvements, which led to six lanes between Florida 874 (Don Shula Expressway, which was then known as the South Dade Expressway) and Interstate 95/Golden Glades Interchange. A new interchange with the new Florida 836/Dolphin Expressway corridor was constructed in the late 1960s/early 1970s, and widening was completed by the early 1970s. In addition, the outer bypass (Toll Florida 821, Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike) was opened by 1974, thus offering more relief to a highway that was originally considered to be a "bypass."

The next major upgrades to Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway came at varying intervals through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s:

  • October 1984 through July 1987 - eighth lane added to Palmetto Expressway between Florida 817 (N.W. 27th Avenue) and Golden Glades Interchange.
  • 1982 through October 1986 - Interstate 75 interchange is constructed, while retaining access to N.W. 138th Street.
  • 1987 through 1992 - Toll Florida 924 (Gratigny Parkway) connection is constructed in same area as Interstate 75.
  • 1992 - new interchange opened at N.W. 25th Street.
  • 1994 through 2010 - the entire corridor undergoes a widening project that will use the remaining rights of way to add more lanes when feasible and realign some interchange/merge areas. The interchange with Florida 836 will be reconstructed as part of this program. One new high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane will be added in each direction for entire length of the freeway.

Originally, there were 24 interchanges on the Palmetto Expressway; as of 2005, there are 28. Most of the added interchanges were for freeway connections: Florida 836 (Dolphin Expressway); N.W. 58th Street; Florida 874, Don Shula (South Dade) Expressway; and N.W. 25th Street. (The interchange with Interstate 75 and Toll Florida 924/Gratigny Parkway was a modification of the original N.W. 138th Street interchange.)

Most state road expressways in Florida have simple diamond or partial cloverleaf interchanges with surface roads, but the Palmetto is more interesting. There are the high speed flyover ramps at NW 103rd Street and Kendall Drive, and one under construction at Okeechobee Road. Then there is the Dolphin Expressway interchange which features tight curves and left lane flyovers. Of course, the Golden Glades Interchange cannot be left out, with its forbidden tangle of loops, ramps, and flyovers. In essence, the Palmetto has more of a Los Angeles-style freeway feel to it and less of a Florida one.

Planned Improvements

With the completion of the Interstate 75 and Toll Florida 924/Gratigny Parkway interchange, a great deal of traffic merges onto Florida 826. This creates a busy commuting period, and motorist delays are common during mornings and afternoons during the week. The section between Florida 874/Don Shula Expressway and Interstate 75 can be very busy. In fact, between Florida 836/Dolphin Expressway and S.W. 24th Street/Coral Way, the Palmetto Expressway carries well over 200,000 vehicles daily, which are comparable to traffic counts on Interstate 95. North of S.W. 24th Street, traffic is quickly approaching those traffic counts, which makes the Palmetto the second busiest freeway in Miami-Dade County.

As noted above, projects continue to bring Florida 826 to a higher standard, including:

  • Widening from N.W. 122nd Street to N.W. 154th Street, which also involved reconstruction of all entrance and exit ramps, and collector/distributor roads.
  • Widening of the southern leg from Sunset Drive to Kendall Drive, and reconstructing the interchange at Kendall Drive and the adjacent Dadeland Mall. This interchange won an Merit Award for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Excellence in Design Awards in 1998.
  • Widening from Okeechobee Road (U.S. 27) to N.W. 58th Street, including the construction of another flyover ramp (much like the one at N.W. 103rd Street); this one will carry northwestbound traffic from U.S. 27/Okeechobee Road to southbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway.
  • Widening the onramp from northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway to Interstate 75.
  • Widening from N.W. 54th Street to N.W. 31st Street, including the reconstruction of the N.W. 36th Street interchange from a full cloverleaf to a partial cloverleaf by removing the northeast and southwest loop ramps. This is being done to eliminate the weaving that occurs in the narrow merge areas between the existing loops.
  • Reconstructing the Dolphin Expressway (Florida 836) interchange, which will consist of completely demolishing the existing interchange, and constructing in its place a four-level stack with direct high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane connections for all four directions. This project will also includes the widening of the Palmetto Expressway and Dolphin Expressway, providing both with 14 lanes throughout the area. With the complexity and cost of this interchange, something tells me that this will be big and exciting.
  • Constructing one high occupancy vehicle lane in each direction for the entire length of the road.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) theme with all of the construction projects is "Palmetto Expressway: Getting the Bugs Out!" This phrase greets the front page of Palmetto Expressway construction project sheets, along with an illustration of a slashed out cockroach. Interestingly, the American cockroach has the regional nickname "palmetto bug" throughout the Southeast, with Florida being no exception. With the buggy traffic conditions of the Palmetto Expressway (pun intended), the palmetto bug has become more than a fitting mascot for a roadway that has seen its share of pesky problems and endless construction.

Many thanks to Justin Cozart and Jason Learned for the background information about Florida 826. This information was originally posted on TropicalTurnpikes.com and is reproduced with permission by Justin Cozart.

Florida 826 Northbound
Joining northbound after the Florida 94 interchange near Dadeland Mall, the next three exits along northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway are Junction Florida 986, S.W. 72nd Street; S.W. 56th Street; and Junction Florida 976, S.W. 40th Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Use Florida 986 (Sunset Drive) east to South Miami and U.S. 1. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 986 is an east-west arterial route that follows Sunset Drive (S.W. 72nd Street) from the vicinity of Miami National Golf Course east to U.S. 1 in South Miami via Sunset and Glenvar Heights. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches the exit for Florida 986, Sunset Drive/S.W. 72nd Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along northbound is S.W. 56th Street and Miller Drive, followed by Junction Florida 976 (S.W. 40th Street/Bird Road). Photo taken 12/08/03.
Use S.W. 56th Street (Miller Drive) east to reach the University of Miami. The campus is located in Coral Gables, where S.W. 56th Street reaches San Amaro Drive. Photo taken 12/08/03.
In addition, S.W. 56th Street serves Tropical Park, a large urban park located west of Florida 826 and north of S.W. 56th Street and south of Bird Road (S.W. 40th Street). The park features four lakes, one each for passive viewing, swimming, fishing, and boating. Sportsfields line the park, offering recreational activities including baseball, soccer, and softball. Tropical Park was originally a horse track, but it was converted into today's use in the early 1970s. An equestrian center is reminiscent of those old days. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Now approximately two miles north of its southern terminus, Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches the offramp for S.W. 56th Street east to Coral Gables/University of Miami and west to Tropical Park. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Immediately thereafter, Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches the offramp for Florida 976, Bird Road (S.W. 40th Street). Florida 976 is an 8.46-mile long state road that follows S.W. 40th Street from Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (Florida 821/HEFT) in Westwood Lakes east to U.S. 1 in Miami, just east of Coral Gables. In the distance, traffic from Florida 874 (Don Shula Expressway) merges onto Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway) northbound. The incoming traffic merges onto northbound Florida 826 from the left. There is no exit from northbound Florida 826 to southbound Florida 874. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Northbound Florida 826 and northbound Florida 874 merge together here. This marks the northern terminus of Florida 874, and Florida 826 gains lanes as it continues north. Photo taken 12/08/03.
This north Florida 826 shield is located immediately after the merge point with Florida 874. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along northbound is for S.W. 24th Street (Coral Way). Photo taken 12/08/03.
S.W. 24th Street/Coral Way is an east-west arterial that starts near Tamiami Park and the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike and extends east past West Miami, through Coral Gables, and into Miami, where it changes into Florida 972/S.W. 22nd Street en route to downtown. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Currently, Florida 826 has plenty of green space on its rights of way. However, with planned reconstruction projects imminently approaching, the rights of way will likely be used for extra lane capacity. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches S.W. 24th Street/Coral Way. The next exit is U.S. 41, Tamiami Trail (S.W. 8th Street). Photo taken 12/08/03.
U.S. 41 is a major east-west route across the Everglades Swamp, connecting the urbanized areas of South Florida with the cities of Southwest Florida, such as Naples and Fort Myers. From there, U.S. 41 travels north past Tampa Bay, then continues into Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, ending on the shores of Lake Superior. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Between Tampa and Miami, U.S. 41 is known as the Tamiami Trail. Opened in April 1928, the Tamiami Trail was an engineering marvel of its time, tracing a course across some of the most rugged terrain in the Southeast, crossing the enormous freshwater Everglades swamp. Built on a combination of levees and bridges, the road was financed by Barron G. Collier when the state ran out of money. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The U.S. 41 interchange is a cloverleaf interchange, but the ramps are stretched somewhat to allow for the odd geography around the area. A drainage ditch on the east side of Florida 826 impacts the design of the interchange. Also, note the shape of the U.S. 41 shield. This style, with a stretched out look, is more indicative of older U.S. shields on guide signs. Newer shields are more like the signs found in the following photo. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Northbound Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway) reaches its interchange with U.S. 41. U.S. 41 is signed east-west across South Florida, basically from the Collier/Miami-Dade County Line east to U.S. 1. The first offramp connects to U.S. 41 east to Little Havana and downtown Miami. U.S. 41 used to continue east to Miami Beach, but it was retracted to downtown Miami around 1999. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Use U.S. 41 west to Florida International University (University Park Campus) near Sweetwater, which is situated on a block of land between the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (HEFT) on the west, U.S. 41 on the north, Florida 985/N.W. 107th Avenue on the east, and Tamiami Park on the south. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches the offramp for U.S. 41 west to Sweetwater, the Everglades, Marco Island, and Naples. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along northbound is Junction Florida 968, Flagler Street. Flagler Street acts as the east-west meridian. All east-west streets south of Flagler Street are signed as "South" and north of Flagler Street are signed "North." The other meridian street is Miami Avenue, which separates "West" from "East." Photo taken 12/08/03.
Busy northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway approaches its junction with Florida 968, Flagler Street (Unsigned Exit 6A on a mileage-based exit numbering system). The next exit would be Exit 6B, Junction Toll Florida 836 east to downtown Miami and the airport and Toll Florida 836 west to the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Northbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches the Florida 968/Flagler Street offramp, which is a loop ramp thus requiring slower speeds. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Toll Florida 836, like Florida 924, Florida 112, Florida 874, and Florida 878, is maintained and operated by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX). The freeway is an extremely busy corridor that offers the only freeway connection east-west across the western suburbs of Miami east to Interstate 95 in downtown Miami, with connections to Miami Beach via Interstate 395 and Miami International Airport via Florida 953/LeJeune Road. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The three left lanes of Florida 826 continue north on the Palmetto Expressway, while the right two lanes exit only onto Florida 836/Dolphin Expressway eastbound. To access Florida 836 westbound, travelers must take Florida 836 eastbound, then turn around at the Florida 969/N.W. 72nd Avenue interchange. This situation will be resolved once a stack interchange with a full range of movements is constructed at this interchange, which is planned for later this decade. Photo taken 12/08/03.
A reassurance shield for Florida 836 is posted on the transition ramp from northbound Florida 826 to eastbound Florida 836. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Once on the transition ramp, this sign advises motorists heading westbound on Florida 836 to remain in the left lane and use the Florida 969 off ramp. The left lane, meanwhile, will merge onto eastbound Florida 836. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Continuing northbound, Florida 826 next approaches N.W. 25th Street, a diamond interchange that connects the expressway with the west side of Miami International Airport and Florida 969 to the east and with cemeteries and golf courses to the west. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along northbound is what would be Exit 8, Junction Florida 948, Doral Boulevard/N.W. 36th Street. Use Florida 948 east to Florida 953 south to Miami International Airport. Florida 948 also passes through Virginia Gardens and Miami Springs en route to the airport. At Florida 953, Florida 948/Doral Boulevard directly connects to Toll Florida 112 (Airport Expressway) and U.S. 27 eastbound toward Miami. There have been proposals in the past to extend Toll Florida 112 west to the Palmetto Expressway, and presumably such a connection would be made near this interchange. At this time, however, no funding has been allocated toward such a project. To the east, Florida 948/Doral Boulevard connects to the world famous Doral Golf Resort and Spa, which hosts a variety of Professional Golf Association (PGA) events. Photo taken 12/08/03.
After the Florida 948/Doral interchange, the next exit along northbound is what would be Exit 9, N.W. 58th Street east to Florida 969/N.W. 72nd Avenue and west to the northern edge of Doral Golf Resort and Spa. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits along northbound are what would be Exit 10, Junction Florida 934, N.W. 74th Street; Exit 11A, South River Drive; and Exit 11B, Junction U.S. 27/Florida 25, Okeechobee Road. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 934 is an east-west surface arterial state road that follows N.W. 74th Street through the Town of Medley east into the City of Hialeah. Upon reaching the Hialeah Race Track, Florida 934 veers north via East Fourth Avenue (N.W. 47th Avenue) briefly, then turns east again via N.W. 79th Street. The state road passes U.S. 1 in northern Miami, crosses Biscayne Bay via Kennedy Causeway, and ends at Florida A1A in northern Miami Beach. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits along northbound Florida 826 are what would be Exit 11A, South River Drive; Exit 11B, Junction U.S. 27/Florida 25, Okeechobee Road; and Exit 12, N.W. 103rd Street. The main exit into the town of Medley is the next exit, which connects Florida 826 to South River Drive. South River Drive follows the Miami Canal northwest, parallel to U.S. 27 in Hialeah Gardens. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Incorporated in 1949, the town of Medley is best known as an industrial area, with this amusing statistic from its official web page (March 2005): "Today Medley is proud of its over 1500 businesses and approximately 1000 permanent residents. During business hours the working population swells to over 30,000." That would translate into approximately 1.5 businesses for every single resident living in Medley. Northbound Florida 826 reaches the offramp for South River Drive. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 826 crosses the Miami Canal, then connects to a loop ramp to U.S. 27. Combined with the South River Drive interchange, the U.S. 27 interchange is like a cloverleaf separated by the canal. U.S. 27 is a major route from South Florida to Central Florida, skirting by Lake Okeechobee en route to Orlando and Tallahassee, the state capital. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along northbound is Junction Florida 932, N.W. 103rd Street. The offramp actually connects directly to the West 20th Avenue frontage road, which in turns connects to N.W. 103rd Street (and West 49th Street). At the interchange, Westland Mall is situated at the northeastern quadrant. Between the U.S. 27 and Florida 932 interchanges, Florida 826 acts as the city limits between Hialeah Gardens and Hialeah. North of Florida 932, Florida 826 enters the city of Hialeah. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The right lane becomes exit only for Florida 932, N.W. 103rd Street. Florida 932 travels east through Hialeah, ending at Florida 915 (N.E. 6th Avenue) in Miami Shores. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Continuing north, Florida 826 next reaches the exit for N.W. 122nd Street (West 68th Street in Hialeah). Use N.W. 122nd Street to reach Florida 916, which travels east along N.W. 138th Street en route to Opa-Locka. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along northbound is a major interchange, the junction of Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway with Interstate 75 northbound and Florida 924 (Gratigny Parkway) eastbound. Interstate 75 is one of the great north-south freeways, connecting Florida to the Upper Great Lakes region via Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. It is the best route from the Midwest to Florida, and it gains more Florida-bound traffic as it gets closer to the Sunshine State. Regionally, Interstate 75 connects South Florida with Southwest Florida and Tampa Bay, crossing the Everglades via the Alligator Alley. Toll Florida 924, meanwhile, is the Gratigny Parkway, which connects Interstate 75 and Florida 826 with Opa-Locka and North Miami. It does not extend all the way to Interstate 95. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 826 Southbound
The first exit on westbound Florida 826 is N.W. 12th Avenue, which connects to the frontage road that parallels Florida 826 along this initial stretch of the Palmetto Expressway. Photo taken 12/08/03.
After departing the Golden Glades Interchange and passing by the N.W. 12th Avenue exit ramp, the next three exits along westbound Florida 926/Palmetto Expressway are N.W. 27th Avenue; N.W. 37th Avenue; and N.W. 47th Avenue. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along westbound Florida 826 is Junction Florida 817, N.W. 27th Avenue. To the north, Florida 817 enters Broward County and becomes University Avenue. To the south, Florida 817 merges into Florida 9 in Opa-Locka. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along westbound Florida 826 is N.W. 37th Avenue (Douglas Road). Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits along westbound are N.W. 37th Avenue; N.W. 47th Avenue; and N.W. 57th Avenue. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Westbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches the exit for N.W. 37th Avenue (Douglas Road). Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits along westbound are N.W. 47th Avenue; N.W. 57th Avenue; and N.W. 67th Avenue. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Westbound Florida 826 reaches the offramp for N.W. 47th Avenue. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Another mileage sign after the N.W. 47th Avenue interchange provides the distance to N.W. 57th Avenue (Red Road/Florida 823); N.W. 67th Avenue; and N.W. 154th Street/Miami Lakes Parkway. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Westbound Florida 826 reaches the offramp to Florida 823, which follows Red Road (N.W. 57th Avenue) south to Opa-Locka Airport and Hialeah. Florida 823 travels north into Broward County, with a connection to the turnpike. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next four exits are what would be Exit 18A, N.W. 67th Avenue; Exit 16, N.W. 154th Street; and Exits 15B-A, Junction Interstate 75 and Florida 916/Toll Florida 924. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Westbound Florida 826 reaches the offramp for N.W. 67th Avenue. The freeway will turn southbound after this interchange. Use N.W. 67th Avenue south into Miami Lakes. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next four exits are what would be Exit 16, N.W. 154th Street; Exits 15B-A, Junction Interstate 75 and Florida 916/Toll Florida 924; and Exit 14, N.W. 122nd Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
N.W. 154th Street connects to the Miami Lakes development, which is nestled into the area within the bend of the Palmetto Expressway. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 reaches N.W. 154th Street/Miami Lakes Drive. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next interchange along southbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway connects the freeway to Florida 924 (Gratigny Parkway); Florida 916 (N.W. 138th Street); and Interstate 75. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The right two lanes exit to northbound Interstate 75, which generally travels west toward Naples. The major freeway corridor then shifts northbound, connecting to the Tampa Bay Area, Ocala, and Gainesville before entering the Peach State of Georgia. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The three left lanes continue south on the Palmetto Expressway, while the right two lanes exit onto Interstate 75 northbound. Photo taken 12/08/03.
In the background, the exit to Florida 924 (Gratigny Parkway) eastbound and Florida 916 (N.W. 138th Street) east to Opa-Locka comes into view. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Nascent Interstate 75 begins its northbound journey after departing the Florida 826 interchange. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches what would be Exit 13, N.W. 122nd Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next four exits along southbound are Junction Florida 903/N.W. 103rd Street, U.S. 27/Florida 25/Okeechobee Road, South River Road, and Junction Florida 934/N.W. 74th Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 932 travels east through Hialeah, ending at Florida 915 (N.E. 6th Avenue) in Miami Shores. Use this exit for access to the Westland Mall. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 reaches the offramp for Florida 932 east to Hialeah and west to Hialeah Gardens. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Overhead signs for the Florida 932 offramp are visible from the main lanes of southbound Florida 826. The next interchange connects Florida 826 to U.S. 27 as well as the Metrorail and the town of Medley. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next four exits along southbound are Junction U.S. 27/Florida 25/Okeechobee Road, South River Road, Junction Florida 934/N.W. 74th Street, and N.W. 58th Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Combined with the South River Drive interchange, the U.S. 27 interchange is like a cloverleaf separated by the canal. U.S. 27 is a major route from South Florida to Central Florida, skirting by Lake Okeechobee en route to Orlando and Tallahassee, the state capital. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 reaches the offramp for U.S. 27, Okeechobee Road. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 reaches the exit for South River Drive in the town of Medley. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits are Junction Florida 934/N.W. 74th Street, N.W. 58th Street, and Junction Florida 948/N.W. 36th Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The expansion of Florida 826 into a much wider freeway is evident in the new bridge deck seen to the west (right) of the freeway as southbound Florida 826 approaches the exit for Junction Florida 934/N.W. 74th Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits are N.W. 58th Street, Junction Florida 948/N.W. 36th Street, and N.W. 25th Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
N.W. 58th Street travels east to Florida 969/N.W. 72nd Avenue and west to the northern edge of Doral Golf Resort and Spa. Photo taken 12/08/03.
This old mileage sign shows some older Florida state shields that are partially covered by newer reflective overlay. The next three exits are Junction Florida 948/N.W. 36th Street, N.W. 25th Street, and Junction Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Use Florida 948/Doral Boulevard/N.W. 36th Street east to Florida 953 south to Miami International Airport. Florida 948 also passes through Virginia Gardens and Miami Springs en route to the airport. At Florida 953, Florida 948/Doral Boulevard directly connects to Toll Florida 112 (Airport Expressway) and U.S. 27 eastbound toward Miami. There have been proposals in the past to extend Toll Florida 112 west to the Palmetto Expressway, and presumably such a connection would be made near this interchange. At this time, however, no funding has been allocated toward such a project. To the east, Florida 948/Doral Boulevard connects to the world famous Doral Golf Resort and Spa, which hosts a variety of Professional Golf Association (PGA) events. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The right lane exits only to N.W. 25th Street/PBA Memorial Boulevard at this diamond interchange. Photo taken 12/08/03.
PBA Memorial Boulevard is named for the Professional Bowlers Association. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 reaches what would be Exit 7, N.W. 25th Street/PBA Memorial Boulevard. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next interchange is a major interchange between Florida 826 and Florida 836, the Dolphin Expressway. Toll Florida 836 heads east to downtown Miami and west to the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next three exits along southbound are Florida 836, the Dolphin Expressway; Florida 968, Flagler Street; and U.S. 41/Florida 90, Tamiami Trail. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Use the right two lanes to transition onto Florida 836 eastbound and westbound. This interchange will be reconstructed into a symmetrical stack interchange in the coming years under a planned Florida Department of Transportation improvement for this area. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The right lane exits onto Florida 968, Flagler Street. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 968/Flagler Street acts as the east-west meridian. All east-west streets south of Flagler Street are signed as "South" and north of Flagler Street are signed "North." The other meridian street is Miami Avenue, which separates "West" from "East." Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along southbound is what would be Exits 5B-A, Junction U.S. 41/Tamiami Trail (S.W. 8th Street). Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches Exit 5B, Junction U.S. 41 west to Sweetwater. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The second ramp in this cloverleaf interchange is the loop connection to U.S. 41/Florida 90 (Tamiami Trail/S.W. 8th Street) east to Little Havana. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along southbound is Junction To Florida 972 east, S.W. 24th Street (Coral Way). Photo taken 12/08/03.
S.W. 24th Street/Coral Way is an east-west arterial that starts near Tamiami Park and the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike and extends east past West Miami, through Coral Gables, and into Miami, where it changes into Florida 972/S.W. 22nd Street en route to downtown. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches what would be Exit 4, S.W. 24th Street (Coral Way). Photo taken 12/08/03.
Use the left lanes to connect to southbound Toll Florida 874 and the right lanes to continue south on Florida 826 to Kendall. Kendall is an unincorporated suburban community of Miami-Dade County. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Prior to the Florida 874 split, southbound Florida 826 approaches Florida 976. Florida 976 is an 8.46-mile long state road that follows S.W. 40th Street (Bird Road) from Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (Florida 821/HEFT) in Westwood Lakes east to U.S. 1 in Miami, just east of Coral Gables. Photo taken 12/08/03.
These older signs indicate that through traffic should use the middle two lanes. The right lane exits only onto Florida 976 (Bird Road) and the two left lanes exit only onto Florida 874. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 and Toll Florida 874 split, with Florida 826 heading south toward its southern terminus in Kendall and Florida 874 south to Homestead via Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826 reaches the transition ramp to S.W. 56th Street (Miller Drive) east, which heads toward the University of Miami. The campus is located in Coral Gables, where S.W. 56th Street reaches San Amaro Drive. Photo taken 12/08/03.
A grassy median, found only at the southern extreme of the Palmetto Expressway, provides a relief to the acres of concrete and asphalt found on the remainder of the freeway. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along southbound Florida 826 is for Junction Florida 986, S.W. 72nd Street (Sunset Drive). Photo taken 12/08/03.
Florida 986 is an east-west arterial route that follows Sunset Drive (S.W. 72nd Street) from the vicinity of Miami National Golf Course east to U.S. 1 in South Miami via Sunset and Glenvar Heights. Photo taken 12/08/03.
The next exit along southbound is what would be Exit 1B, Junction Florida 94, Kendall Drive (S.W. 88th Street) east to Dadeland Mall and west to Kendall and Calusa. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Southbound Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway reaches its penultimate exit, Junction Florida 94, Kendall Drive. Photo taken 12/08/03.
Once on the transition ramp, the left lane connects to eastbound Florida 94, while the right lane connects to westbound Florida 94. Photo taken 12/08/03.
As seen from the transition ramp to eastbound Florida 94 is this sign on the transition ramp to westbound Florida 94. Photo taken 12/08/03.
View of Florida 826 southbound as seen from the transition ramp onto eastbound Florida 94, Kendall Drive. Photo taken 12/08/03.

Page Updated March 25, 2005.