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2017 Southeast Trip Part 14; FL 997 (Green Hell on Krome Avenue gets an expansion

After returning to the mainland and Florida City via Card Sound Road I decided on bypassing Florida's Turnpike given was rush hour on Florida State 997.

As discussed previously in Part 12; FL 997 is a 36.7 mile state road from US Route 1 north to US Route 27.  FL 997 used to be part of FL 27 until 1983 but was renumbered to avoid confusion with US 27.   FL 27 can be seen on the 1956 and 1964 State Highway Map of Florida along with the original alignment of the Ingraham Highway to Everglades National Park .

1956 Florida State Highway Map

1964 Florida State Highway Map 

Back when I was living in the Florida Keys I would often take Krome Avenue/FL 997 from Florida City to US 27.  I typically found that the Turnpike Extension was typically backed up to Bird Road and could take well over an hour to get through.  Generally that meant following the slow orange trucks alongside the Everglades on a two-lane FL 997 was often a better way of reaching US 27.  Since 2014 FL 997 has been undergoing improvements that will largely bring it completely up to expressway standards, hence my interest in revisiting the route.

I didn't capture the junction for FL 997 too well from US 1 but it almost seems like a secondary road behind a row of fast food chain restaurants.

FL 9336 is junctioned less than a mile to the north.

FL 997 generally has been a dangerous road given the historical two-lane configuration.  FDOT has posted fatality counters on FL 997 and often does on other dangerous two-lane highways.  I tend to call the morbid signs "kill counters."

In downtown Homestead there are new Florida's Turnpike shields.  Oddly the new shields have "toll" placards which seems superfluous.

North of downtown there is older Turnpike shields still present.  There is often raised stations in the center stripe to deter people from attempting a pass.  FL 997 generally keeps moving but on some days it can be as low as 20 MPH.  North of Homestead the southbound lanes are generally alongside or within walking distance of the Everglades.

At Southwest 216th Street is a sign for the Monkey Jungle.  Essentially the Monkey Jungle is just a zoo and wildlife refuge, the sign amusingly doesn't provide a great deal of context.

The junction of FL 994 is at Southwest 200th Street.

This fatality counter was probably my favorite sign along FL 997.  Kind of gives Krome Avenue an ominous vibe with no cars close in the picture.

The road north to FL 94 at Southwest 88th Street was undergoing an expansion to an expressway configuration.

FL 997 snakes around it's two-lane configuration and the new expressway sections north to US 41 at the Tamiami Trail.  I believe there was a US 41 shield present but it was way off to the to the side of the road in the new construction.

North of US 41 the alignment of FL 997 is largely an expressway built all the way north to to US 27 on Okeechobee Road.  The new expressway segment is nice and has brand new mileage marker designs in addition to larger shields.  At the north terminus of FL 997 I turned north on US 27 into the Everglades to head back towards the Tampa Area.


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