Interstate 110 links Downtown Pensacola with I-10 at Ferry Pass beyond the Pensacola city line.
Interstate 110 facilitates traffic from I-10 to Downtown Pensacola and the Pensacola Bay Bridge (U.S. 98) south to Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach. The urban freeway serves Pensacola Naval Air Station traffic via connections with SR 295 (Fairfield Road) and SR 296 (Brent Lane) and Pensacola International Airport (PNS) via ramps with SR 750 (Airport Boulevard) and SR 291 (Davis Highway).
I-110 from Maxwell Street south 1.6 miles to U.S. 98 Business (Chase/Gregory Streets) is an elevated freeway with four lanes. The remainder of the route north to Brent and I-10 at Ferry Pass is six lanes wide.
I-110 was one of three proposed urban Interstates proposed by the Florida State Road Department to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on August 8, 1958. The Pensacola spur was included in the Florida State Road Department’s 503-mile, $300 million interstate highway construction program announced on September 16, 1961. $4.7 million in funds were allocated for construction of I-110 from I-10 five miles south to Maxwell Street.1
Construction started on the northernmost 2.31 miles of Interstate 110 on July 19, 1962. Costing $3.71 million, the project was 75% complete as of August 31, 1963. The north end of I-110 at that time connected to an 8.13 mile long section of Interstate 10 between U.S. 90 Alternate (Nine Mile Road) and SR 291 (Davis Highway), with construction lengthening I-10 in both directions starting in 1964. Right of way acquisition was underway along the succeeding 1.1 mile segment extending south in 1963.2
Following two years of construction, Interstate 110 was completed south from I-10 to Fairfield Drive (then SR 289) on June 23, 1964. Costing $1.86 million, the 3.1 mile section was finished slightly ahead of schedule.3
The U.S. Bureau of Public Roads approved an extension of I-110 south from Maxwell Street to U.S. 98 Business (Garden Street) at Downtown Pensacola on April 25, 1967. The decision came after local and state officials and member of the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce conferred with bureau officials and Florida Congressmen on April 11, 1967.4
A 1.05 mile section of Interstate 110 opened without fanfare south from SR 295 (Fairfield Drive) to Maxwell Street in Pensacola on February 12, 1970. The section was previously scheduled to open on January 17, 1970, but bad weather pushed it back. Costing $1.3 million, bids on the segment were let in August 1968, with work commencing in October 1968. The city of Pensacola converted Maxwell and Jordan Streets into a one way couplet to accommodate the expected traffic flow in mid January 1970.5
Construction on the next section of I-110 commenced in Summer 1976 with a scheduled completion in late 1979.6 Extending 14 blocks closer to Downtown Pensacola, Interstate 110 opened south from Maxwell and Jordan Streets to U.S. 90/98 (Cerventes Street) on August 17, 1978.7 Delays due to flooding rains and Hurricane Frederic in September 1979 pushed back work on the last phase, taking I-110 another six blocks south, to July 16, 1980.5 This was after previous attempts to open the segment on May 16 and then May 30, 1980, were delayed due to sign and traffic signal installation and painting of the roadway due to inclement weather.8 The final estimated cost of I-110 from Maxwell Street to Gregory Street was near $44 million.6
Work finished in July 2009 expanded the freeway to six overall lanes from the half diamond interchange (Exit 3) with Maxwell/Jordan Street northward to the SR 742 (Creighton Road) overpass. Costing $58 million, the reconstruction of the freeway included expanding Exit 5 with SR 296 into a split diamond interchange with SR 750 (Airport Boulevard) and redesigning the exchange (Exit 4) with SR 295 (Fairfield Drive) into a parclo interchange with ramps tieing into adjacent SR 291 (Davis Highway). This project coincided with the I-10/110 improvement program from early 2007 onward.
Costing $76 million, the I-10/110 project was completed in Fall 2008. Construction widened Interstate 10 to six lanes from east of the Old Palafox Highway (Escambia County Road 95A) overpass to a point beyond the interchange (Exit 13) with Davis Highway (SR 291). I-110 was expanded to six lanes from I-10 southward to just north of the Airport Road overpass. Improvements at the trumpet interchange joining I-10/110 included the addition of a flyover ramp from I-10 west to I-110 south and collector distributor roadways separating local and through traffic between I-10, I-110 and SR 291. SR 291 was also widened to six lanes from I-10 south to University Town Plaza (formerly University Mall) as well. Construction began in 2002.9
Associated with the I-10/110 project was the construction of a new overpass and extension of Creighton Road (SR 742) over Interstate 110 west to Hilburn Road. SR 742 comprises a five lane arterial east from Hilburn Road to SR 289 (Ninth Avenue). Creighton Road was previously widened between SR 291 (Davis Highway) and Ninth Avenue by 1996. Future plans, though not yet funded by the state legislature, call for extending Creighton Road further west to U.S. Highway 29.