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Interstate 10

Interstate 10 was proposed from Pensacola, to Tallahassee, and then on to Jacksonville as part of the original Interstate plan authorized by the Federal Highway Act of 1956. Preexisting U.S. 90 to the north, and U.S. 98 along the coast prompted many residents at the time to suggest a central route for the new Interstate. Many believed that a major route close to the coast would provide easy access to beaches and tourist areas and would be better for the local economy than a route further inland. While campaigning for governor in 1964, Haydon Burns promised to do all he could to route Interstate 10 as far to the south as possible. When Burns tried to act on this promise however, he was met with heavy opposition both from the Air Force and from the Federal Highway Administration. The southern route would traverse the main section of Eglin Air Force Base and would require the re-location of important military centers. A southern route for the Interstate would create dangers to motorists from bombing ranges and test facilities. Northern towns on U.S. 90 even suggested that a southern route for the interstate would face attacks from enemy submarines off the coast. Eventually, a northern route for Interstate 10 was chosen close to U.S. 90 - missing the main portion of Eglin A.F.B. Another small route change occurred when the proposed route was changed to bypass Tallahassee to the north, in order to miss the bulk of the Apalachicola National Forest.1

Looking eastward from the U.S. 90 (Scenic Highway) overpass at the Escambia Bay Bridges during an approaching thunderstorm! Photo taken 08/01/08.

Interstate 10 enters Florida via the Perdido River near Pensacola and ends at Interstate 95 in downtown Jacksonville. The entire 362.82-mile route was open to traffic in 1978.

Interstate 10 completion2:

  • 1961 - Sanderson to Jacksonville
  • 1963 - Winfield (Exit 301) to Sanderson
  • 1967 - Alabama state line to State Road 87 (Exit 31)
  • 1968 - State Road 87 (Exit 31) to Mossy Head (Exit 70)
  • 1969 - Falmouth (Exit 275) to Interstate 75 (Exit 296)
  • 1970 - Mossy Head (Exit 70) to DeFuniak Springs (Exit 85)
  • 1973 - DeFuniak Springs (Exit 85) to Caryville (Exit 104)
  • 1973 - Drifton (Exit 225) to Falmouth (Exit 275)
  • 1974 - Capitola (Exit 209) to Drifton (Exit 225)
  • 1977 - Chipley (Exit 120) to Kynesville (Exit 130)
  • 1977 - Oakdale (Exit 142) to Midway (Exit 192)

Westerly view of Interstate 10 between the County Road 280A overpass and U.S. 331 (Veterans Memorial Boulevard) in south DeFuniak Springs. Photo taken 07/03/09.

Interstate 10 Florida Highway Guides

Interstate 10 Escambia Bay Bridges

An eastward view of Interstate 10 spreading across Escambia Bay. Photo taken 09/27/08

For an in depth look at the Escambia Bay Bridges and the events that led to their collapse and replacement, see the Escambia Bay Bridge guide.

State Road 8

Florida 8 is the state highway counterpart for all 372.26 miles of Interstate 10 throughout Florida.

Other scenes Related to Interstate 10
View of Interstate 10 from the Beulah Road (Escambia County 99) overpass situated between mileposts one and two. Interstate 10 enters Florida as it left Alabama with four lanes of freeway, a 70 mph speed limits, and pine forest frontage. Photo taken 12/20/03.
Two westward views of the final mile of Interstate 10 as it departs the Sunshine State for the Perdido River crossing into the state of Alabama. The stretch between Exit 5, the last Florida interchange, and Exit 53, the first Alabama interchange, tallies 18 miles. A weigh station and welcome center represent the only items of interest on the otherwise rural stretch. Photos shot from the Escambia County 99 (Beulah Road overpass). Photos taken 12/20/03.
Interstate 10 shield posted within the parking area of the Florida Welcome Center. Free orange or grapefruit juice is offered to motorists at the facility. The tourist information center aspect of the complex is only open until 5:00 PM. Photo taken 06/23/01.
Walton County 280 (Bob Sikes Road) passes over Interstate 10 near Pleasant Ridge and sees this easterly view of the freeway toward DeFuniak Springs. Photo taken 07/03/09.
Jackson County 286 (Blueberry Drive) northbound on the approach to Interstate 10 (Exit 158) at Osochi. Blueberry Drive widens to four lanes for its diamond interchange with the freeway. Photo taken 07/22/04.
Interstate 10 shield assembly posted ahead of the eastbound on-ramp to Tallahassee, Lake City, and Jacksonville on Jackson County 286 (Blueberry Drive) northbound. Photo taken 07/22/04.
The eastbound ramp onto Interstate 10 leaves Jackson County 286 northbound. Interstate 10 crosses the Chattahoochee River into Gadsden County just east of Exit 158. Photo taken 07/22/04.

The wide trumpet interchange between Interstate 10 and Florida 23 doubled as a staging area for a freeway resigning project in Jacksonville. Photos taken 03/14/10.

Sources:

  1. Cozart, Justin: Northern Florida (tropicalturnpikes.com).
  2. "Florida's Interstates - A Half Century of Progress," Florida Department of Transportation.
Photo Credits:
2001-06-23, 2003-12-20, 2004-07-22, 2009-07-03, 2010-03-14 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 75
Interstate 95
Interstate 110
Interstate 295 - East and West Beltway
U.S. Highway 29
U.S. Highway 41
U.S. Highway 90
U.S. Highway 98
U.S. Highway 301

Page Updated 03-23-2014.

 
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