Florida 836 - Dolphin Expressway

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Florida 836 (Dolphin Expressway) is a 14.1-mile toll facility connecting Downtown Miami with its international airport and western suburbs. Beginning at the Midtown Interchange with Interstate 95 & 395, the Dolphin Expressway carries Florida 836 west through west central Miami skirting the Miami International Airport (MIA) to the south. Toll Florida 836 sees two freeway connections (at Palmetto Expressway and at the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike) en route to its end at NW 137th Avenue west of Sweetwater. The Dolphin Expressway is also one of five local expressways operated and maintained by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX).

Originally called the East-West Expressway, the tolled freeway was renamed to honor the Miami Dolphins (NFL team) and their two consecutive Championship seasons and Super Bowl wins (1973-74).

A 15-mile planned extension of Florida 836 and the Dolphin Expressway would see the toll facility loop south through Kendall West and the Hammocks before turning back east to SW 136th Street near Kendall-Tamiami Airport (TMB).1 Currently no time table is in place for actual construction of the limited-access extension.

Florida 836 Highway Guides

Proposed in 1964 and opened by late 1968, the six-lane Dolphin (East-West) Expressway roughly followed the 12th Street corridor between the Midtown Interchange with I-95 near Downtown and Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway) west of Miami International Airport. Built with local funding, the tolled expressway consisted of one mainline toll plaza situated between NW 17th and 27th Avenues. A federally-funded 1.29-mile eastern extension of the Dolphin Expressway to the MacArthur Causeway opened by 1971 carrying the I-395 designation.

An additional extension of the East-West Expressway west toward NW 137th Street was proposed in 1969, and included an interchange with the proposed West Dade Expressway (Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike - or HEFT). Work proceeded by 1970 on the extension to the HEFT interchange and opened to traffic by early 19762. The final piece to NW 137th Avenue, however, would not be completed until 2007.

When the Interstate 75 designation was extended south from Tampa to Miami in 1969, the original envision of the freeway was to cross the Everglades via the U.S. 41 corridor to West Dade, then connect to the proposed extension of the East-West (Dolphin) Expressway and continue east to I-95 & 395 in Downtown. Various factors, including costs of upgrading the existing Expressway to Interstate standards and regional opposition, derailed this proposed alignment by 1974 in favor of the Alligator Alley crossing.

In December 1994 the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) was formed, and two years later was allowed to assume operational and financial control of the area expressways, including the Dolphin Expressway. MDX immediately organized a comprehensive plan to modernize and update the existing expressway. The end result was a series of improvement projects (beginning in 2000) that included widening of the mainline, ramp enhancements, and conversion to Open Road Tolling (ORT). A part of the comprehensive plan also involved the completion of the extension to NW 137th Avenue (by 2007). Improvements are ongoing along the Dolphin Expressway, including the current modification at the SR 836 / 826 interchange.

Florida 836 scenes
NW 137th Avenue continues north from NW 6th Street toward SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway) east in one half mile. Two entry points connect with the tolled expressway ahead. Photo taken 07/05/11.
2 photos
2 photos
A traffic signal operates at the first access point to SR 836 east from NW 137th Avenue at the 800 block. Photos taken 07/05/11.
A two lane ramp departs for SR 836 east to Miami International Airport (MIA) and Downtown Miami. The Dolphin Expressway carries the state road 14.1 miles between NW 137th Avenue and I-95/395. Tolls are collected via transponder or Toll-by-Plate method beyond this entrance point. Photo taken 07/05/11.


Background information for SR 836 was originally posted on TropicalTurnpikes.com and researched by Justin Cozart and Jason Learned. It was reproduced here with permission by Justin Cozart.

  1. Future projects: MDX State Road 836 Southwest Extension - Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (mdx-way.com)
  2. "State Road 836 extension delayed another six months", The Miami Times, July 17, 1975.

Photo Credits:

07/05/11 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 95
Interstate 395 - Dolphin Expressway

Page Updated 09-15-2014.