SR 836/Dolphin Expressway – 50 years in the making

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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.”

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7 Comments on "SR 836/Dolphin Expressway – 50 years in the making"

  1. Wow, has the Palmetto changed! I travelled it for work when I lived in Kendall and drove to Hialeah in the late 60’s when it was just a paved road on the ground where you could make a left or right turn on intersected streets. I am amazed at the change even though I use it frequently. I have to commend the engineers. It is quite an incredible change.

  2. I am amazed at the change in the Palmetto from the late 60’s. Wow, from a street where you could turn left or right on any intersected street to a full blown skyway! You guys really did a grew job at the 836 intersection.

  3. The Dolphin Express Way is a great idea, because it is very necessary for everybody.
    The design is beautiful too.


  4. It’s beautiful.


  5. I’ve been thru the new interchange 826 and 836 several times recently and continue to marvel at the design and flow. Wondered if I would live to see it….and I did!!!
    Doug Kostowski, kendall

  6. it’s still a “parking lot” in the morning and afternoon.. we need more trains in the western sector. Run a train on 8th street from Krome to Brickell and it will be full. Miami has lost a lot of jobs and industry bcz of the lack of infrastructure in public transportation.

  7. How about the south west area? It is growing tremendously with high density housing going up between SW 8th street, SW 137 Ave, SW 104th and Krome! How about a train that circles that area and connects via the existing train track to the metro rail or goes all the way downtown? What ever happened to the plan to use that track and install a station at the Zoo?

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