Interstate 395 Florida

Routing

The shortest spur freeway in the Florida Interstate system at 1.29 miles, Interstate 395 provides an essential link between Miami and Miami Beach, following the eastern end of the Dolphin Expressway (Florida 836) from Interstate 95 (North-South Expressway) at the Midtown Interchange to Florida A1A at the MacArthur Causeway. Though signed along the tolled Dolphin Expressway west of I-95 & 395, no signage for Florida 836 is present along the freeway section between the North-South Expressway and the causeway. I-395 now also serves as a vital link to Port Miami with its connection to the Port Miami Tunnel (Florida 887). At a cost of $668.5 million, the twin-tubed tunnel opened to motorists on August 3, 2014, providing direct access to the port from I-395 and the MacArthur Causeway.1 The MacArthur Causeway continues from Interstate 395 to carry Florida A1A across Biscayne Bay to Miami Beach.

Two carriageways carry traffic along Interstate 395 east near the ramps to U.S. 1 (Exits 2AB). Traffic stemming directly from Florida 836 utilizes the left carriageway to U.S. 1 (Exit 2A) while motorists from nearby Interstate 95 use the right carriageway to Exit 2B. The two will merge at the departure ramp to Exit 2B, which also marks the east terminus of I-395. The freeway portion continues only to Florida 887 to the Port of Miami via a tunnel (opened August 2014) and to Florida A1A to Miami Beach. In this scene prior signage spans the carriageways on the approach. Photo taken 07/05/11.

Updated signage at the same location adds the Port of Miami as an auxiliary destination (covered until August 2014). Florida 887 will leave on the east side of the first bridge along the MacArthur Causeway to the port while Florida A1A continues east toward Miami Beach. Photo taken 04/01/14.

History

The Interstate 395 section of the Dolphin Expressway was built in two phases between 19672 and 1971. Phase one included the portion between the Midtown Interchange (I-95) and Miami Avenue while phase two completed the connection to the MacArthur Causeway (Florida A1A).3 The entire freeway spur opened to traffic on the afternoon of March 26, 1971.4

A 1996 FDOT improvement plan sought to expand Interstate 395 with additional travel lanes but was met with local opposition and never came to fruition. The early 2000s would see other improvement ideas for the freeway spur, including a depressed section of freeway as well as new elevated spans.5

Future Aspirations

Though no definitive time table is set for construction, major improvements to Interstate 395 will see a complete rebuild of the entire viaduct and ramp system on partial new alignment (westbound). The new design will see two spans (nearly one mile long) between the Midtown Interchange (I-95) and Bayshore Drive, with a partial interchange at Miami Avenue near the midpoint. The half-diamond interchange with Miami Avenue will feature two on-ramps, one directly to Interstate 395 & Florida 836 west and one leading to Interstate 95. Eastbound will have a similar concept with its off-ramps. Slip ramps at U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) will remain very similar to its existing layout.6

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 95 - Miami, Florida
Perspective from Interstate 395 west
Interstate 395 west will come to an end ahead at the Midtown Interchange with I-95 and Florida 836 west. SR 836 will follow the Dolphin Expressway west to Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and the Homestead Extension of the Florida's Turnpike (hidden Florida 821). Photo taken 03/04/14.
Entering the Interstate 95/Florida 836 stack interchange from I-395 westbound. Two lanes of traffic leave for I-95 north to Fort Lauderdale while a left ramp will depart for I-95 south in 0.25 miles. Photo taken 04/01/14.
I-395 west reaches a silent end as motorists leave for both I-95 south and Florida 836 west atop the Midtown Interchange. Florida 836 passes to the south of Miami International Airport (MIA) en route to Sweetwater and the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Perspective from Florida 836 east
Florida 836 and the Dolphin Expressway rises over NW 17 Avenue and the Miami River en route to the Midtown Interchange with Interstate 95 and 395 in 1.1 miles. Photo taken 07/05/11.
The Dolphin Expressway crosses U.S. 441 (NW 7th Avenue) as it reaches the stack interchange with I-95 & 395. Interstate 395 leads motorists east toward the Port of Miami and Miami Beach while I-95 south heads to Downtown Miami. Photo taken 07/05/11.
A single lane ramp leaves for Interstate 95 south toward Downtown at the Midtown Interchange. A separate ramp will depart for NW 8th Street on the approach to the I-95 mainline. Downtown Miami lies one mile to the south of the stack interchange. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Traffic to I-95 northbound departs from a left ramp as drivers continue east to Interstate 395 to Miami Beach. Florida 836 will silently follow I-395 through to its end at Exit 2A to U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard). Photo taken 07/05/11.
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
Interstate 95 south widens to seven lanes on the approach to the Midtown Interchange with Florida 836 west to Miami International Airport and I-395 east to Miami Beach. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Traffic departs via a two lane ramp for Exit 3A to Florida 836 west as two lanes prepare to exit left for Interstate 395 east. State Road 836 follows the Dolphin Expressway from I-95 to Florida 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and the Homestead Extension of the Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Interstate 95 south prepares to cross under the massive stack interchange as a left ramp leaves for I-395 east at Exit 2D. I-395 continues along the final leg of the Dolphin Expressway to Florida A1A and the Port of Miami. Access to the port is via the Florida 887 tunnel that leads directly to the port from the MacArthur Causeway. Florida A1A continues along the causeway eastward toward Miami Beach. The next ramp leads to NW 8th Street while I-95 continues south to Downtown and its conclusion at U.S. 1 in 3.2 miles. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
Passing over NW 3rd Street, I-95 north nears the Midtown stack interchange with Interstate 395 east to Miami Beach (Exit 2D) and Florida 836 west to Miami International Airport (MIA). A left ramp will govern movements between I-95 north and SR 836 west at Exit 3A. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Motorists depart via a one lane ramp to Interstate 395 east. Traffic from Interstate 95 north and south default onto its own carriageway independent of Florida 836 traffic bound for I-395 and Miami Beach. The freeway ends at the entrance to the Port of Miami tunnel (Florida 887) which opened in August 2014. Photos taken 04/01/14.
As the ramp to eastbound I-395 east parallels the I-95 mainline, a left ramp (Exit 3A) prepares to depart for Florida 836 west and the Dolphin Expressway. The Dolphin Expressway follows near NW 12th Street for its 13.7-mile duration to NW 137th Avenue. Use Florida 836 west to reach Miami International Airport and nearby University of Miami/Jackson and VA Hospitals. I-95 north continues through the stack interchange to meet Interstate 195/Florida 112 next. Photo taken 04/01/14.
Eastern Terminus - U.S. 1/Biscayne Boulevard and Florida A1A/MacArthur Causeway - Miami, Florida
Perspective from MacArthur Causeway (Florida A1A south) west
The beginning of Interstate 395 as seen from the west end of the MacArthur Causeway. A Metrorail line passes overhead as Exit 2 departs for U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) and NE 13th Street. Instead of indicating I-395 along this stretch, sinage simply refers the freeway as TO Interstate 95/Florida 836. Photo taken 03/04/14.
Perspective from Interstate 395 (hidden Florida 836) east
Exit 2A departs for U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) from the inner carriageway of Interstate 395 east. Traffic continuing straight enters the MacArthur Causeway across Biscayne Bay. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Interstate 395 and unsigned Florida 836 come to an end as the carriageways merge over NE 2nd Avenue and U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) below. Florida A1A will join ahead and cross over the MacArthur Causeway to the Port of Miami and Miami Beach. Photo taken 07/05/11.
Perspective from U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) south
Prior trailblazer for Florida A1A along U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) south on the approach to Interstate 395. Note the defect of the backward 1, which occurred during its manufacture. Photo taken 03/26/06.
This guide sign for Interstate 95 (North-South Expressway) and Florida 836 (Dolphin Expressway) along Biscayne Boulevard was removed sometime after 2006. Photo taken 03/26/06.
This was the sole I-395 trailblazer shield on U.S. 1 south just prior to NE 15th Street. The interchange with I-395 is located three blocks south. Photo taken 03/26/06.
Former guide sign at U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) south and NE 12th Street & Interstate 395. This sign was removed sometime after June 2011. NE 12th Street provides the necessary connection to I-395 & Florida 836 west and to nearby I-95 north and south. Photo taken 03/26/06.
Perspective from N.E. 12th Street west
Traveling west along NE 12th Street from U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard), a slip ramp leaves to join I-395 & Florida 836 west to I-95 south. Continue on NE 12th Street to reach I-95 north to Fort Lauderdale. Photo taken 03/26/06.
A scene along the slip ramp to I-395 west to I-95 south showing the colorful murals that decorate the bridge pillars supporting the I-395 westbound viaduct over several street blocks. Photo taken 03/26/06.
The ramp to I-395 and Florida 836 (Dolphin Expressway) west meets NE 1st Avenue at a traffic signal prior to joining the freeway. Photo taken 03/26/06.

Sources:

  1. PortMiami Tunnel official website (www.portofmiamitunnel.com).
  2. Learned, Jason. "Interstate Guide - Florida I-195, I-395, I-595." Personal email, November 25, 2003.
  3. "Jan. 20 Marks End Of The Expressway Era, Transportation Age Must Begin", The Miami News, January 7, 1969.
  4. "First car on finished X-way - too early", The Miami News, March 26, 1971.
  5. "Plan to raze I-395, build anew gains momentum: High-powered committee seems on verge of first step", Miami Herald, July 9, 2003.
  6. "Record of Decision I-395 Reconstruction", Florida Department of Transportation, July 16, 2010 (Document).

Page Updated August 26, 2014.



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Mileage

State Florida
Mileage 1.29
Cities Miami
Junctions Interstate 95
Source: December 31, 2015 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-395 Florida Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From To AADT Composite
Miami-Dade Exit 1AB/ Interstate 95 Exit 2/ U.S. 1 Biscayne Blvd. 132,000
Source: Florida Traffic Information 2013 (web site)