Miami-Dade Expressway (MDX) remains committed to modernizing and expanding SR 836 – the most important east-west expressway in Miami-Dade County. MDX’s current roadway improvement projects are transforming this 50-year old expressway into one that will meet the needs of the growing community and support its continued economic growth.
The first stretch of SR 836, which ran from SR 826/Palmetto Expressway to downtown Miami, opened 51 years ago in 1965. In 1974, a new segment extending to the Florida Turnpike opened and the roadway was renamed the Dolphin Expressway to commemorate the Miami Dolphins’ back-to-back Super Bowl wins. The expressway remained relatively the same for the next 20 years despite the fact that the county’s population and traffic continued to increase. In its early days, the expressway served the area’s 1 million people. Today, it serves a growing community of 3 million people, 15 million visitors and 180,000 daily commuters from Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
MDX, which was created in 1994 by the Florida State Legislature and the Miami-Dade County Commission, gained operational and financial control of the five expressways in the MDX system by paying $91 million to the Florida Department of Transportation. MDX soon started its first work program to modernize the aging expressways, starting with enhancements to the Dolphin Expressway – the vital artery that connects the seaport, airport and the industrial and business areas in Doral. After assuring collected tolls stayed in Miami-Dade County, MDX made critical infrastructure investments, adding lanes to the roadway, implementing operational improvements and incorporating the first use of open road tolling, which allows continuous traffic flow through the toll plazas and eases congestion.
In 2007, MDX heralded the opening of the first new extension of an expressway in Miami-Dade County in 20 years. This expansion of the Dolphin Expressway to 137th Avenue reduced the travel time for residents living in west Dade by 50 percent.
Today, MDX continues to reconstruct and enhance SR 836 to benefit commerce in the area, improve the convergence of traffic and alleviate congestion. Two sections of the expressway between 87th Avenue and 17th Avenue currently are under construction. Another upcoming enhancement project, in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, will address the segment that connects SR 836 to I-95.
“This third phase of improvements to the Dolphin Expressway will provide new connections and service to the Health District and Miami Beach and complement the state’s $1 billion investment in the PortMiami Tunnel,” said Juan Toledo, MDX Deputy Executive Director/Director of Engineering. “These projects together with the recently completed SR 836 and SR 826 interchange will provide the capacity to serve the growing Miami-Dade County community.”