Florida State Road 80 stretches 123.80 miles across the Florida peninsula connecting Fort Myers on the Gulf coast with La Belle, Clewiston, Belle Glade and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast. The state road is one of three major corridors linking the two sides of the southern peninsula, following U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) and Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley). On its course across the state SR 80 follows near the Caloosahatchee River and canal system as well as around the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee.
SR 80 begins in Downtown Fort Myers at a grade separated interchange with U.S. 41 (Cleveland Avenue). A 0.316-mile section of Main and Monroe Streets remains state maintained, while the remainder of SR 80 east to SR 739 (Fowler Street) was decommissioned through Downtown along First Street (westbound) and Second Street (eastbound). Second Street takes State Road 80 east a short distance before merging onto Seaboard Street while SR 80 west follows First Street from Billy Creek toward Downtown. The two one way segments reconvene opposite East Riverside Drive, then head northeast along Palm Beach Boulevard into East Fort Myers and Tice. East of I-75, Palm Beach Boulevard and State Road 80 continue northeastward through Fort Myers Shores before arcing east toward Hendry County and La Belle. SR 80 maintains four to six lanes throughout its course in Lee County.
Entering Hendry County near the community of Charleston Park, State Road 80 remains a four-lane divided highway as it turns northeast once more toward the county seat. Once in La Belle SR 80 briefly shares pavement with SR 29 as it treks from Immokalee and Everglades City north to Palmdale. The state road continues east from La Belle and the Port La Belle development following to the south of the Caloosahatchee River and Canal system as it straddles the Hendry and Glades county lines. South of Lake Hicopochee SR 80 briefly dips southeast before recurving east to meet U.S. 27. Improvement projects are underway to four lane the segment between Port La Belle and U.S. 27, thus making SR 80 a multi-lane road throughout the state.
SR 80 joins U.S. 27 west of Clewiston at a 2014-opened diamond interchange. The two highways travel due east through Clewiston before turning southeast into Palm Beach County, running adjacent to a portion of the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike system around Lake Okeechobee. The dike system was built in stages between the 1930s and 1960s as a deterrent to storm surges on the lake. SR 80 and U.S. 27 part ways after 25 miles in the city of South Bay. U.S. 27 continues southward into the Everglades en route to the Miami metro area while State Road 80 jaunts east then north through Belle Glade.
North of Belle Glade, SR 80 joins U.S. 98 & 441, and the trio beeline east through several miles of sugar cane fields toward the greater West Palm Beach area. While U.S. 441 will leave for Miami near Wellington, U.S. 98 remains with State Road 80 to their eastern terminus at Palm Beach. Beyond SR 700 (Connors Highway), SR 80 and company dip southeast to Twentymile Bend before turning east one final time south of Lion Country Safari adventure park. Southern Boulevard continues SR 80 and U.S. 98 & 441 into the West Palm Beach area serving as the dividing line between Loxahatchee Groves and Royal Palm Beach to the north and Wellington to the south. The village of Wellington was a planned urban development that began in 1971 and incorporated by 1995. Prior to its establishment, portions of what is now Wellington was once home to the world's largest strawberry patch.1 Canal C-51 of the South Florida Water Management District system follows Southern Boulevard immediately to the south to its southward turn near Interstate 95.
East of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, SR 80 and U.S. 98 & 441 expands to an eight lane urban arterial U.S. 441 leaves both U.S. 98 and State Road 80 at an urban interchange with SR 7 near the southeast corner of Royal Palm Beach. State Road 7 stems north to reach SR 704 and Loxahatchee while the state road remains hidden as it follows U.S. 441 south to its end at U.S. 41 in Miami. Beyond the partial interchange with the Florida's Turnpike, SR 80 and U.S. 98 transition into a quasi-expressway between Jog Road and I-95. Complete by 2008, a five mile segment of Southern Boulevard was transformed from a surface arterial to an expressway type corridor with interchanges at Jog Road, Haverhill Road, SR 709 (Military Trail), and SR 807 (Congress Avenue) while maintaining some at-grade crossings, notably at Kirk Road and Gem Lake Drive.
SR 80 and U.S. 98 continue along Southern Boulevard east of I-95 into West Palm Beach as an undivided arterial bordering residential neighborhoods. After crossing U.S. 1 (Dixie Highway) Southern Boulevard spans Lake Worth Lagoon carrying U.S. 98 and SR 80 into Palm Beach. The two continue east a short distance to their respective end at a shared roundabout with State Road A1A.
Florida State Road 80 Guides
|A remnant SR 867 trailblazer, replaced by 2016, directed traffic from Bay and Heitman Streets south to First Street (old SR 80) west for the nearby Carson Street ramp to McGregor Boulevard. SR 867 was decommissioned north of the Veterans Bridge however. Photo taken 12/22/11.|
- The Village of Wellington, official website.
12/22/11 by AARoads
Page Updated 11-23-2016.