Miami and Fort Lauderdale @ SouthEastRoads.com
South Florida consists of the southeastern corner of Florida, encompassing cities from West Palm Beach south to Miami along the Interstate 95 and Florida's Turnpike (Florida 91) corridor. Interstate 75 and U.S. 41 are two of the few routes that approach South Florida from the west. The metropolitan area is squeezed into an area within a few miles of the coast because of the proximity of the Everglades swamp, much of which is protected land. The Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve are located south and west of the metropolitan area. Since new development anywhere west of the turnpike is more likely to require wetland displacement, most development has densified within the immediate coastal region. However, pressure to expand west has continued to grow as the population pushes outward. Retirees, immigrants, beach worshippers, and business people have all migrated to South Florida as a place of opportunity.
If the region has some of the most spectacular beaches in the United States, Miami Beach has one of the most well-known beaches in the world. The wide beach here is known for its colorful buildings, walkable storefronts, and culturally diverse restaurants. It is not uncommon to see people dressed in colorful outfits in Miami Beach, and the movie "Birdcage" shows off some of the outstanding architecture of this city. It is easily seen from a plane on the flight path into Miami International Airport, made distinctive by coral pink buildings. In this "anything goes" atmosphere, it is not uncommon to spot topless sunbathers in Miami Beach. Although parking is a major hassle in this area, it is well-worth the visit.
Downtown Miami is its own cultural mecca, with a multitude of downtown shops and restaurants. The large American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, rests at the intersection of U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) and Port Boulevard. It is located next to the walkable Omni International Mall. The arena, as well as Bayside Park and Bicentennial Park, is easily accessible by car via U.S. 1, U.S. 41 (SW 7th/SW 8th Streets) and Interstate 395 (Florida 836) as well as the Metrorail, which extends north roughly along the Florida 933 (NW 12th Avenue) corridor. Speaking of U.S. 41, contrary to most maps, that route indeed comes to its end at U.S. 1 just south of the Miami River. U.S. 41 used to continue onward to Miami Beach via Florida A1A, but all signs of U.S. 41 were removed by 2001.
The cheapest way to fly into Miami may not be through Miami International Airport, although that airport serves as the primary gateway from the United States to Latin America and the islands of the Caribbean Sea. For those arriving from other U.S. destinations, it is worthwhile to compare fares with Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The lower fares are largely due to the fact that most low-cost carriers will fly into Fort Lauderdale but not into Miami. In addition to air travel, Miami is internationally known as a major seaport. Many cruise ships depart the Port of Miami daily, leaving for destinations such as the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Panama Canal, and South America.
The address and street numbering system is rather clearly defined in the Miami-Dade Metropolitan area. South of Flagler Street (the road dividing "north" and "south") and Miami Avenue (the road dividing "east" and "west"), every half-mile is a through road. The east-west roads are "divided" into groups of eight, with 1/16 mile between streets. This would explain SW Eighth Street (U.S. 41) being a major through road. Avenues (north-south) are 1/4 mile apart and have a similar pattern, going by fives and starting with (N/S) W Second Avenue. Then comes Seventh Avenue (U.S. 441), 12th, 17th Avenue, etc. These are also 1/2 mile apart. Except in extreme western areas, they always follow this pattern. For example, Bird Road (SW 40th Street) becomes SW 42th Street, and so on. Krome Avenue (SW/NW 177th Avenue, Florida 997) marks for the most part the end of civilization before reaching the Everglades, with the exception of some areas around Homestead.
The only real exceptions to the street numbering system in Miami-Dade County are Coral Gables and Hialeah, which have their own numbering systems. The main streets and avenues follow the same patterns, but have different numbers. NW 42nd Avenue (LeJeune Road) becomes East 8th Avenue in Hialeah and loses its number in Coral Gables, but forms the 400 block. For purposes of consistency, the county-wide designations are posted at major intersections. Homestead also has its own numbering system. A peculiarity of this is that the avenues is in the southwest quadrant almost always lose a number in regular intervals immediately to the east of the "main" roads. The pattern is usually 0,2,3,4,5,7,8,9. The relative uniformity of this system leads to three-digit numbers in the southern and western portions of the county, with intersections such as SW 320th Street/SW 167th Avenue not uncommon. In Broward County, it's completely different, as each city has its own system. (Thanks to Nick Stearn for this information).
Most "freeways" in Miami are called "expressways" locally. According to AASHTO the term "expressway" is defined as a divided highway with no private access, but occasional traffic lights are allowed. Under this definition, an expressway is basically a freeway with intersections, usually with traffic signals, in place of interchanges. However, that definition does not usually apply in Miami. "Expressways" in Miami are generally freeway standard.
Several freeways in the Miami-Dade metropolitan area are managed by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority: Florida 112 (Airport Expressway), Florida 836 (Dolphin Expressway), Florida 874 (Don Shula Expressway), Florida 878 (Snapper Creek Expressway), and Florida 924 (Gratigny Parkway). Placards identifying routes maintained by the MDX are placed under the appropriate highway reassurance shield. The agency was created in 1994 to improve traffic flow on these freeways, each of which is a significant aspect of the regional freeway network.
Many thanks to Justin Cozart and Jason Learned their contributions to AARoads for Miami area highways.
Approaching the South Florida region from the west via the Everglades Parkway (Alligator Alley), Interstate 75 provides the most direct route to Florida's Gulf Coast from Miami. With a couple of exceptions, Interstate 75 is always signed north-south (the exceptions being at one overhead sign at the Interstate 595 interchange and Interstate 75 shields at a rest area in the middle of the Everglades). Interstate 75 connects with the Sawgrass Expressway (Florida 869) and Interstate 595, then turns south into Miami-Dade County. The transcontinental freeway dishonorably ends in Hialeah (not in Miami proper) at its junction with Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and Florida 924 (Gratigny Parkway). From here, motorists may use Florida 826 to reach the Miami International Airport and Florida 836, which is the most direct route from the west into downtown Miami and to Miami Beach. Interstate 75 does not reach Interstate 95, so the best way to connect to that route is via Interstate 595 in Davie.
For more, see Interstate 75 Florida.
Interstate 95 is the major north-south freeway in the Miami metropolitan area. Approaching the city from the north along the Atlantic coastline, Interstate 95 has six to eight lanes as it connects West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami. Once within downtown Miami, Interstate 95 connects to several spur routes to various destinations within the city, including two Interstates, Interstate 195 and Interstate 395, and one long freeway ramp (Florida 970). Interstate 95 ends its southerly journey at its last junction with U.S. 1, and the heavy traffic continues along U.S. 1 (the Dixie Highway) toward Coral Gables, Homestead, and the Florida Keys.
For more, see Interstate 95 Florida.
Interstate 195 is a short east-west spur route connecting Interstate 95 in the west with Miami Beach in the east via the Julia Tuttle Causeway. It is secret Florida 112, evidenced by the Florida 112 Airport Expressway to the west and the Florida 112 surface boulevard between Florida 907A and Florida A1A (Collins Avenue) within Miami Beach.
For more, see Interstate 195 Florida.
Florida 836 is a freeway connecting Florida's Turnpike in the west with Interstate 95 in the east. Although most of the route is toll-free, like Florida 112, a toll is collected once within the Miami city limits east of the Miami International Airport. It is not possible to take a freeway from downtown Miami to the airport unless you go out of your way to drive Interstate 95 to Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway). The freeway gains Interstate status east of Interstate 95, but ends before changing into a causeway that leads to Miami Beach as Florida A1A. Florida 836 is the hidden state route designation for the short Interstate 395. At the western end, plans have been considered to extend Florida 836 west to connect directly with U.S. 41 at a point west of Florida International University, but it unclear if these plans remain.
For more, see Interstate 395 Florida.
Port Everglades Expressway
Interstate 595 is the Port Everglades Expressway, linking Interstate 75 in the west with the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, U.S. 1, Interstate 95, and the Port of Fort Lauderdale in the east.
For more, see Interstate 595 Florida.
Florida's Turnpike (Florida 91) enters the Miami metropolitan area from the north, parallel to Interstate 95. It originates at Interstate 75 near Wildwood, then proceeds southeast through Orlando to the vicinity of Fort Pierce. From Fort Pierce, the turnpike parallels Interstate 95 south into Miami, then avoids the downtown area via Florida 821. It ends at U.S. 1 at Homestead.
For more, see Florida's Turnpike.
Biscayne Boulevard/Dixie Highway
U.S. 1 is Biscayne Boulevard through Miami, and it is variably known as Dixie Highway and Federal Boulevard in other parts of South Florida. This is the original north-south route that was replaced by Interstate 95, but U.S. 1 is still very well traveled and provides connections to most South Florida destinations. A coastal alternative is Florida A1A. U.S. 1 is hidden Florida 5. Southbound U.S. 1 connects with the Overseas Highway, which carries U.S. 1 southwest to Key West.
For more, see U.S. 1 Highway Guide.
U.S. 27 enters the Miami metropolitan area from the northeast, having stayed in the middle of the state for much of its journey through the Florida peninsula. From Ocala south to Palmdale, U.S. 27 leads in a southerly direction along a divided, four to six-lane highway. However, at Palmdale, where U.S. 27 meets Florida 29, U.S. 27 turns east and then southeast toward South Florida and the Miami metropolitan area, skirting Lake Okeechobee to the north. U.S. 27 enters Miami as Okeechobee Road, and it turns due east to parallel the Airport Expressway (Florida 112) to its southerly terminus at U.S. 1 in the shadow of the U.S. 1/Interstate 195 interchange.
For more, see U.S. 27 Highway Guide.
U.S. 41 enters the Miami metropolitan area from the west, following the historic Tamiami Trail, which is a play on the names of Tampa and Miami. U.S. 41 connects these two cities via Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Naples. Upon entering Miami-Dade County, U.S. 41 changes from southbound to eastbound, and it does not change back to southbound. U.S. 41 ends at its junction with U.S. 1 in downtown Miami. As of 2001, it no longer extends all the way to Miami Beach.
For more, see U.S. 41 Highway Guide.
NW 7th Avenue
U.S. 441 enters the Miami metropolitan area from the north, closely paralleling Interstate 95 and Florida's Turnpike from West Palm Beach south into Miami. U.S. 441 is secret Florida 7 and is NW 7th Avenue. It ends at its intersection with U.S. 41 (SW 8th Street). The 2002 Rand McNally central Miami map does not show the U.S. 441 designation reaching U.S. 41, but it is still signed. The U.S. 441 bridges over the Miami River break the urban feel of this route.
For more, see U.S. 441 Highway Guide.
Florida A1A (Collins Avenue) is the main coastal route through Miami Beach. It is part of the much longer route that provides a scenic alternative to U.S. 1 and has been made famous by its seaside routing. These pictures also show the routing former U.S. 41 across the MacArthur Causeway into Miami Beach.
For more, see Florida A1A Highway Guide.
Florida 9 in the Miami area is NW 27th Avenue. Florida 9 heads north-south at this point, leading to U.S. 1 in the south near the Barnacle State Historic Park and to the Interstate 95/U.S. 441/Florida's Turnpike/Florida 826 interchange in Biscayne Gardens.
Florida 94 is located entirely within Miami-Dade County for 10.7 miles, following Kendall Drive/SW 88th Street between Florida 997 and U.S. 1/Florida 5/Dixie Highway.
Florida 817 is University Drive from Florida 9 (Unity Boulevard) in Miami-Dade County just south of Miami Gardens north to Toll Florida 869 (Sawgrass Expressway) in Coral Springs. The state road is multilane, divided for its entire length.
Florida 818 is Griffin Road from Florida 817 (University Drive) in Cooper City east to U.S. 1 in Dania Beach.
Florida 822 is Sheridan Street through Hollywood.
N.W. 57th Avenue and Flamingo Road
Florida 823 begins in U.S. 27/Florida 25 in Hialeah, then travels north through Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Davie, and Plantation before ending in Sunrise.
|Northbound Florida 823
||Northbound Florida 823 (Flamingo Road) reaches the intersection with eastbound Florida 84, the frontage road that connects onto Interstate 595. Photo taken 12/28/03.
Florida 826 is the Palmetto Expressway, linking U.S. 1 with the Golden Glades Interchange (Interstate 95, U.S. 441, and Florida's Turnpike). This freeway is one of the oldest in Miami-Dade County, and it serves as the southern terminus of Interstate 75.
For more, see Florida 826 Highway Guide.
Florida 838 is Sunrise Boulevard, which begins at Toll Florida 869 (Sawgrass Expressway) in Sunrise and travels east through Plantation, Lauderhill, and Fort Lauderdale before ending at Florida A1A.
Florida 842 is Broward Boulevard, which extends from Florida 823 (Flamingo Road) east to Florida A1A in Fort Lauderdale.
|Eastbound Florida 842
||Eastbound Florida 842 approaches its eastern terminus at Florida A1A. Note the backward "1" in the Florida state shield. Photo taken 12/28/03.
Miami Gardens Drive
Florida 860 is Miami Gardens Drive, which begins at a trumpet interchange with Interstate 75 and travels east through Miami Gardens to U.S. 1 in Aventura.
Florida 869 is the Sawgrass Expressway, linking Interstate 75 and Interstate 595 near Davie in the south with Florida's Turnpike and Interstate 95 in the north near Deerfield Beach. Much of the freeway segment (between Florida 838 and Florida's Turnpike) is toll.
South Florida's toll roads, especially the Turnpike (Florida 821 and Florida 91) have always been signed with such exotic destinations as Key West (as found on the southbound Florida's Turnpike Extension), presumably so that tourists and locals alike would use these routes to major (tourist) destinations. The Sawgrass Expressway could be considered a semi-rural "loop" highway between Interstates 75/595 northerly and then easterly through northern Broward county. Since it follows a pretty much westerly route from Interstate 95 for about ten miles before curving southward for a similar distance and then ending at the change from Interstate 75 North/South to Interstate 75 East/West, it could be seen as an alternate route westwards to the west coast or southwards to the western suburbs or even beyond that to the Palmetto Expressway (Florida 826). Interstate 595 can be a busy route for commuters, so even though it is the most direct way -- especially from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to Naples, the Sawgrass Expressway can definitely be an alternative.
For more, see Toll Florida 869 Highway Guide.
Don Shula (South Dade) Expressway
Florida 874 is the Don Shula Expressway, linking the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike with Florida 826 in southern Miami-Dade County. The freeway roughly parallels U.S. 1 for its entire length, and it spurs Florida 878 (Snapper Creek Expressway) east to U.S. 1.
For more, see Florida 874 Highway Guide.
Snapper Creek Expressway
Florida 878 is the Snapper Creek Expressway, linking Florida 874 (Don Shula Expressway) to U.S. 1.
For more, see Florida 878 Highway Guide.
Florida 907 is Alton Road, which serves the western half of the thin strand that is the city of Miami Beach.
Florida 913 is the Rickenbacker Causeway, which connects Interstate 95 to Key Biscayne.
For more, see Florida 913 Highway Guide.
Florida 924 is a short east-west route extending from the southern end of Interstate 75 in Hialeah to Florida 9 near Pinewood Park.
For more, see Florida 924 Highway Guide.
S.W. and N.W. 12th Avenue
Florida 933 follows S.W. and N.W. 12th Avenue from Florida 972 (S.W. 22nd Street and S.W. 3rd Avenue/Coral Way) north to Florida 934 (N.W. 79th Street and N.W. 81st Street couplet).
NW 36th Street
Florida 948 is a divided highway connecting Florida 826 in the west with Florida 112 in the east. It is the best east-west connection between these two routes, and it is a good route to Interstate 75 from the airport.
|Westbound Florida 948
||Florida 948 (NW 36th Street) To Florida 826 and Interstate 75. It was nice to see a sign near the Miami airport advertising a fast route to Interstate 75. Photo taken 12/99.
Florida 953 is north-south LeJeune Road near the Miami International Airport.
For more, see Florida 953 Highway Guide.
Florida 970 is the Downtown Distributor, allowing traffic between Interstate 95 and downtown Miami near the southern terminus of Interstate 95.
For more, see Florida 970 Highway Guide.
S.W. 24th Street, S.W. 3rd Avenue, S.W. 13th Street
Florida 972 is S.W. 24th Street from the Palmetto Expressway east to Florida 933 (S.W. 12th Avenue) and S.W. 3rd Avenue from there northeast to S.W. 13th Street in Downtown Miami. Florida 972 ends at U.S. 1 just south of the U.S. 41 intersection.
Miscellaneous Miami Photos
Page Updated March 13, 2005.