Interstate 395 - Dolphin Expressway

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View along westbound Interstate 395 on its approach to the Midtown Interchange. Two separate roadways carry traffic eastbound toward U.S. 1 while one viaduct takes drivers toward Interstate 95. Photo taken March 26, 2006.

Interstate 395 is the designation of the Dolphin Expressway between the Midtown Interchange and the MacArthur Causeway, serving various interests including Downtown Miami, the Port of Miami, and Miami Beach. The western end of the I-395 freeway connects with Interstate 95 and ties directly into Toll Florida 836 at a four-level stack, while the eastern end defaults onto the MacArthur Causeway carrying Florida A1A toward Miami and South Beaches. Since the MacArthur Causeway was built prior to the Interstate system and not constructed to its standards, the Interstate 395 designation ends just shy of the causeway across Biscayne Bay. I-395 serves only one exit (at U.S. 1/Biscayne Boulevard) along its 1.29-mile stint to SR A1A and the MacArthur Causeway. Though not signed, SR 836 doubles along the entire I-395 portion of the Dolphin Expressway.

Interstate 395 Florida Guides

The I-395 spur also provides an essential link to the Port of Miami on Dodge Island via the PortMiami Tunnel (Florida 887). Opened to traffic August 2014, the $668.5 million twin-tubed tunnel connects the Dolphin Expressway and MacArthur Causeway with the Port of Miami, now allowing for a seamless connection from the port to area freeways and expressways without using the local street grid.

To avoid any weaving issues, eastbound Interstate 395 consists of dual roadways between the east end of the Midtown Interchange and the ramps to U.S. 1 (Exit 2AB). While an inner roadway carries traffic directly from SR 836, an outer roadway forms from the two ramps stemming from Interstate 95. Both roadways travel in tandem, only separated by a low barrier, until beyond the off-ramps to U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) where the two converge. Exit 2A departs to U.S. 1 from the outer I-395 roadway while the U.S. highway is accessed from Exit 2B via the inner roadway.

Scheduled to begin in December 2017, I-395 will see a complete rebuild along its entire stretch. Costing $802 million, improvements will include construction of new elevated ramps connecting I-395 to I-95 (east and westbound) and Florida 836, a slight adjustment to its current alignment, a new signature bridge over U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard), and concrete repaving on I-95. As part of the overhaul, pathways and common activity areas will also be provided under the viaduct expressway.3

Interstate 395 and the extension of the East-West (Dolphin) Expressway was constructed in two phases between 1967 and early 1971, with initial construction between the Midtown Interchange (North-South Expressway) and Miami Avenue north of Downtown. Phase two, started after January 1969, completed the freeway connection to the MacArthur Causeway1 (Florida A1A/former U.S. 41) while also providing access to U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard). The entire stretch of freeway officially opened to traffic March 26, 1971.2

Interstate 395 scenes
NE 5th Street east on its final approach to NE 1st Avenue north in Downtown Miami. The two one-way streets intersect below the College North Metromover Station. Traffic bound for Interstate 395 to Interstate 95 will use NE 1st Avenue north to make the connection. Photo taken 07/05/11.

  1. "Jan. 20 Marks End Of The Expressway Era, Transportation Age Must Begin", The Miami News, January 7, 1969.
  2. "First car on finished X-way - too early", The Miami News, March 26, 1971.
  3. I-395/SR 83611/I-95 Project. South Florida Roads (Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) project web site.

Photo Credits:

07/05/11 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 95
U.S. 1
State Road A1A
State Road 836 - Dolphin Expressway
State Road 887 - PortMiami Tunnel

Page Updated 07-28-2017.

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