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State Road 924 (Florida): Wikis

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Toll Florida 924.svg Free Florida 924.svg Florida 924.svg
State Road 924
Gratigny Parkway
Maintained by Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and FDOT
Length: 8.49 mi[1] (13.66 km)
5.378 mi. expressway section
Formed: 1992
West end: I-75 / SR 826 in Hialeah
Major
junctions:
SR 9 near Opa-locka
US 441 / SR 7 in North Miami
I-95 in North Miami
East end: SR 909 in North Miami
Counties: Miami-Dade
Florida State and County Roads
< SR 922 SR 929 >

State Road 924 is a 8.5-mile (13.5 km) east–west highway connecting Interstate 75 and the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) in Hialeah and SR 909 (West Dixie Highway) in North Miami. The westernmost 5 miles (west of Northwest 32nd Avenue), named the Gratigny Parkway, is a limited access toll road maintained by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority ($1.25 toll for automobiles); the easternmost three miles (5 km) is a surface street (Northwest 119th Street) also known as Gratigny Road. Despite its relatively short length, SR 924 is a major east–west artery in northern Miami-Dade County.

Contents

Route description

The road begins at the southern terminus of Interstate 75 at the Palmetto Expressway. The road heads east as an expressway for its first 5.378 miles, passing through a toll plaza in both directions. The expressway ends at the intersection with Northwest 119th Street, and heads east towards Interstate 95, ending at SR 909.

History

Despite appearances, the Gratigny Parkway is not an outgrowth of an attempt to extend I-75 to connect with Interstate 95. Initial plans for the Gratigny were devised in the 1960s, when planners had hoped to route I-75 along the Tamiami Trail and the then-under construction "east–west Expressway" that opened (in 1969) as SR 836 and eventually became known as the Dolphin Expressway. When plans for the major north–south Interstate changed so it would be routed along Alligator Alley instead, the proposed Opa-Locka Expressway was intended to be Miami-Dade County's second full east–west throughway.[2]

Interestingly, the Opa-Locka Expressway was never intended to terminate at I-95, but merge with a surface street within a few blocks of it instead. Funding issues caused the Florida Department of Transportation to mothball its construction plans for over a decade, but when the plan was revived, the changing demographics of the neighborhoods impacted by construction (an area with a predominantly white population in the 1960s became an area with a predominantly African-American and Hispanic population in the 1980s). In 1982, racial politics killed the portion of the Opa-Locka Expressway that was planned for east of Northwest 32nd Avenue, and the proposed new expressway received a new name: the Gratigny Parkway.

Faced with rising construction costs in 1982, FDOT officials told the North Dade Chamber of Commerce that the Gratigny Parkway would be built as a toll road; and in the following year, the construction project was given a green light.

In 1984, increased opposition almost derailed construction of the expressway again, but this time the resistance came from residents of Miami Lakes and Hialeah. Both communities didn't want any expressways to be built, even to the point of Hialeah amending its city charter to oppose all expressway construction within its city limits. Yet at that point, FDOT had already purchased 90% of the land needed for construction of the Gratigny Parkway - and it was determined to get it built. After a compromise that deleted one interchange with a major surface street (Ludlam Road/Northwest 67th Avenue), construction finally began in 1987.

The Gratigny Parkway opened to traffic in January 1992. At the time, no signs indicated the name of the toll road: they merely showed the SR 924 designation that it shared with Gratigny Road to the east. In 1997, the newly-established Miami-Dade Expressway Authority took over the operation from FDOT. New TOLL shields (with the MDX logo underneath them) made their appearance along the expressway but not the surface road to the east of 32nd Ave; the corner of Northwest 119th Street at 32nd Ave has an MDX "end 924" sign for the eastbound drivers, while on the other side of 32nd Ave an FDOT "east SR 924" sign greets people who wish to continue eastward on the surface street.

Exit list

The entire route is located in Miami-Dade County.

Location Mile[3] Destinations Notes
Hialeah 0.000 I-75 north – Naples Western terminus, Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
0.000 SR 826 (Palmetto Expressway) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
2.020 SR 823 (Red Road)
3.295 Toll Plaza ($1.25, $1.00 with SunPass)
4.095 SR 953 (Douglas Road Ext)
5.378 Northwest 119th Street
Expressway ends eastbound, becomes surface street
SR 9
North Miami US 441 / SR 7
I-95
SR 909 Eastern terminus

References

External links


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