Don Shula (South Dade) Expressway
Florida 874 is the Don Shula Expressway, a diagonal route from the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (Florida 821/HEFT) northeast to Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway. It gives motorists a route from the Turnpike, South Dade, and Homestead to the Palmetto Expressway. While Florida 874/Don Shula Expressway generally travels southwest to northeast, it is signed as north-south. This is interesting, considering that the even number (874) suggests that the route would be signed as an east-west route. The entire freeway follows the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC).
The freeway was planned as the South Dade Expressway, but it was renamed in 1982 in honor of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula.
Like many other freeways in the Miami-Dade region, Florida 874/Don Shula (South Dade) Expressway was first proposed in the 1969 Miami Transportation Study. This route would follow a diagonal routing from the West Dade Expressway (now known as the Homestead Extension to Florida's Turnpike, or HEFT) northeast to Florida 826/Palmetto Expressway. The 1969 plan listed the section of the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike between U.S. 1 and Florida 874 as part of the South Dade Expressway, but plans changed to incorporate the southern portion of the route as part of the turnpike. As a result, the remainder of the South Dade Expressway that was not part of the turnpike became today's Don Shula (South Dade) Expressway.
Plans have been surfaced from time to time to extend Florida 874 southwest from the current interchange with Florida's Turnpike along the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC) all the way to Florida 997, Krome Avenue. However, each time those plans were raised, they were promptly denied by the regional planning agency. Currently, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) does not have a southwesterly extension of Florida 874 in its five-year work program.
Many thanks to Justin Cozart and Jason Learned for the background information about Florida 874. This information was originally posted on TropicalTurnpikes.com and is reproduced with permission by Justin Cozart.