Interstate 395 Florida
The shortest route within the Florida Interstate system at 1.29 miles, Interstate 395 provides an essential link between Miami at Overton and South Beach in Miami Beach. Extending the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) east from the Midtown Interchange with Interstate 95 (North-South Expressway), I-395 constitutes an elevated route to SR A1A (MacArthur Causeway) across Biscayne Bay. The freeway doubles as SR 836, though the concurrency is not posted.
I-395 also comprises part of a truck route to the Port of Miami with the connection to SR 887 (PortMiami Tunnel) via SR A1A (MacArthur Causeway). Providing direct access to the port from MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island, the $668.5 million twin-tubed tunnel opened to motorists on August 3, 2014.1 SR A1A continues east along MacArthur Causeway to 5th Street in Miami Beach.
I-395/SR 836/I-95 Project
Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-395 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
|Location||Vehicles per day|
|I-95 to US 1||144000|
Source: 2019 AADT – Florida Traffic Online (FDOT)
The I-395/SR 836/I-95 Design-Build Project, previously scheduled to start in December 2017, rebuilds the entire viaduct and ramp system between the Midtown Interchange and the Intracoastal Waterway bridge. Construction shifts the westbound shift slightly north onto a new footprint from a new signature span above U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard). The 1,025 foot bridge over Biscayne Boulevard will feature six sweeping arches, and a significantly higher vertical clearance then its predecessor.
Additionally, the 1.4 mile long project expands I-395 to six overall lanes. Ramp changes include moving the eastbound off-ramps at NE 2nd Avenue to N Miami Avenue and the westbound entrance ramps at NE 1st Avenue west to N Miami Avenue. A Record of Decision on the I-395/SR 836/I-95 Project was published by July 2010.6
Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) construction along SR 836 improves two miles of the Dolphin Expressway west from the Midtown Interchange to NW 17th Avenue. Improvements add a second deck linking SR 836 with MacArthur Causeway (SR A1A) while bypassing ramps along Interstate 395. The existing roadways along SR 836 will be repurposed as collector distributor roadways for the exchange with I-95/395. The overall project reconstructing I-95, I-395 and SR 836 costs
$818 $840 million. The anticipated completion is Fall 2024 Summer 2026.7
The Florida State Road Department proposed three urban Interstates in a letter dated August 8, 1958 to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO). They were I-195 along the Bayshore Connector in Downtown Miami, I-395 along the freeway spur linking Miami with Miami Beach, and I-110 along the spur south into Pensacola. AASHO approved these on November 12, 1958.
The State Road Department made changes to the urban Interstate numerology the following year. Correspondence with AASHO on June 11, 1959 outlined dropping the Bayshore Connector as I-195 and renumbering 36th Street (Julia Tuttle) Causeway east to Miami Beach from I-395 to I-195. AASHO approved the change on July 1, 1959.
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 MacArthur Causeway (SR A1A).3 The entire freeway spur opened to traffic on the afternoon of March 26, 1971.4
A 1996 Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) improvement plan outlined expanding Interstate 395 with additional lanes. Met with local opposition, the proposal never came to fruition. Other improvements considered for the freeway spur arose in the early 2000s, ranging from a below grade section of freeway to new elevated spans.5
East End / MacArthur Causeway – Miami, Florida
/ Biscayne Boulevard North at
/ Biscayne Boulevard South at
Throwback – South at
West End – Miami, Florida
Left Exit 1A leaves the west end of I-395 for I-95 south toward Coral Gables as the freeway mainline transitions into the tolled Dolphin Expressway (SR 836). SR 836 passes to the south of Miami International Airport (MIA) en route to Sweetwater and the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike (HEFT). 04/04/15
SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway) rises over NW 17 Avenue and the Miami River en route to the Midtown Interchange with I-95 and I-395. 03/21/20
I-95 advances south with three through lanes as Left Exit 2D leaves for I-395 east. I-395 continues along the final leg of the Dolphin Expressway to SR A1A (MacArthur Causeway) and the Port of Miami via SR 887 (PortMiami Tunnel). The succeeding southbound exit from I-95 leads to NW 8th Street while the freeway continues 3.2 miles to Downtown and U.S. 1 at Brickell. 09/30/17
West End Throwback
- PortMiami Tunnel. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), project web site.
- Learned, Jason. “Interstate Guide – Florida I-195, I-395, I-595.” Personal email, November 25, 2003.
- “Jan. 20 Marks End Of The Expressway Era, Transportation Age Must Begin.” The Miami News (FL), January 7, 1969.
- “First car on finished X-way – too early.” The Miami News (FL), March 26, 1971.
- “Plan to raze I-395, build anew gains momentum: High-powered committee seems on verge of first step.” Miami Herald (FL), July 9, 2003.
- “Record of Decision I-395 Reconstruction.” Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), July 16, 2010 (Document).
- I-395 Reconstruction Project Fact Sheet. FDOT.
Page updated June 15, 2022.