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According to BESTITUDE, State Route 826 or State Road 826 (SR-826) is a state route in the U.S. state of Florida. State Road 826 is largely a highway in the Miami metropolitan area and is called the Palmetto Expressway. State Road 826 forms the inner bypass around Miami. The last section through North Miami Beach is not a highway, but a city road. The route is 48 kilometers long.
The Palmetto Expressway.
State Road 826 begins in the Kendall suburb at a junction with US 1, about 15 kilometers southwest of Downtown Miami. State Road 826 forms a 2×3 lane highway from here and heads north. It crosses State Road 878 (Snapper Creek Expressway), but there is no connection with it. A few miles north, all traffic from State Road 874 (Don Shula Expressway) merges, after which the Palmetto Expressway becomes much busier and has 2×6 lanes. Near the Miami airport follows a large stack interchange with the State Road 836 (Dolphin Expressway).
The Palmetto Expressway then maintains 2×6 lanes, with the two left lanes being an express lane. The highway heads north through the grid and through extensive suburban areas. In Hialeah there is a connection to the US 27. In Miami Lakes, there is an interchange with Interstate 75, which begins here and leads to Naples and Tampa. Also, the State Road 924 (Gratigny Expressway) from Opa-locka connects.
Shortly after, the highway makes a sharp bend and heads east from here. This part has 2×3 lanes and has frontage roads. The highway then ends at the major Golden Glades Interchange, where connections are made to Florida’s Turnpike to Orlando and Interstate 95 from Miami to Jacksonville. At this point, the interstate physically merges into the NW 7th Avenue Extension, but State Road 826 turns into Golden Glades Drive, a 2×3 lane urban arterial with traffic lights. It crosses US 1 in North Miami Beach, after which the road continues a little further to the Atlantic coast and ends there on State Road A1A.
It stacks between SR-826 and SR-836 at Miami International Airport.
Before the Palmetto Expressway was built, Golden Glades Drive existed in the same corridor, with all the typical sharp 90-degree bend. This was Miami’s first functional bypass and was then also numbered 826 State Road. A four-lane bypass of Miami was first planned in 1953, and plans for highways in the Miami area were published in 1956.
Construction on the Palmetto Expressway began in 1958. The entire Palmetto Expressway opened in June 1961, connecting to Florida’s Turnpike, which opened 4 years earlier. This allowed through traffic to bypass the central part of Miami. The Palmetto Expressway was the second freeway near Miami and the first to really open up the city itself, although parts of the route still passed through undeveloped forest and meadows. Until the 1970s, there were four more at-grade intersections in Hialeah and Miami Lakes.
Dade County grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, including further south of Miami. One problem was that I-95 went no further south than Downtown Miami and the Palmetto Expressway began on US 1, causing through traffic to the Florida Keys to extend through built-up areas. As a result, it was soon decided to build State Road 821 (Homestead Extension) as a bypass of the bypass, which opened in 1974.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the north-south section of the Palmetto Expressway was widened to 2×4 and 2×5 lanes. Between 2008 and 2012, the interchange with the Don Shula Expressway (SR-874) was significantly expanded with additional flyovers and de-interleaving of traffic flows. This was part of a series of widening the north-south section of the Palmetto Expressway to 2×5 to 2×6 lanes. Between 2010 and 2016, the Dolphin Expressway interchange was converted to a full stack.
Between April 2014 and early 2018, express lanes were built along State Road 826, from I-75 in Hialeah to the Dolphin Expressway near Miami International Airport for eight miles. For this purpose, mainly existing asphalt was used, the original capacity of 2×5 lanes with left hard shoulder has been converted into 2×4 lanes and 2×2 express lanes in the central reservation, separated by crash-friendly bollards. Soon after the opening, adjustments to this section were announced by politicians outside the road authority. In 2020, parts of the second express lane will be converted back into a regular lane.
Between 2022 and 2024, a $66 million project was completed to widen the Palmetto Expressway at W 49th Street / NW 103rd Street from 3 to 4 general purpose lanes to the south. This was a point where there were only three regular traffic lanes while the rest of the route has four regular lanes. Work started in March 2022 and will last until mid-2024 .
The Palmetto Expressway has express lanes with dynamic toll rates between the Dolphin Expressway and I-75. The rest of the lanes and highway are toll-free. It is, along with I-95, the only longer toll-free highway in the Miami area.
The intensities below are north of the relevant connection.
|SW 72nd Street||77,000||154,000|
|Don Shula Expwy||165,000||250,000|
|SW 24th Street||176,500||284,000|
|NW 58th Street||254,000||276,000|
|NW 27th Avenue||149,500||180,000|