Florida Road Network

By | October 13, 2022

Florida has a predominantly dense road network. The majority of residents live along the coastlines served by I-75 and I-95. I -4 forms a diagonal north-south connection on the peninsula between Tampa and Daytona Beach via Orlando. Florida’s Turnpike forms a toll road across the center of the state, and I-10 forms an east-west route through the north of the state. In addition, there are several highways in the agglomerations. The number of toll roads in Orlando is striking, there is only one toll-free highway here. Miami also has quite a few toll roads and they are on the rise in Tampa as well. Population density, especially in southern Florida, is rather unevenly distributed, with densely populated coastal zones and sparsely populated interiors, such as the Everglades. US 1 connects Key West to the mainland, a distance of 200 kilometers.

Road management

The state highway authority is the Florida Department of Transportation, abbreviated FDOT. FDOT has its origins in the State Road Department that was established in 1915. In 1969 this was reorganized into the Florida Department of Transportation. Florida was one of the first states to call its department a ‘Department of Transportation’, most states only followed in the 1970s or later. The Florida Department of Transportation manages 23,252 miles of state highway, which includes the US Highways and Interstate Highways. The state controls a relatively small proportion of all roads in Florida, with a total of 196,929 kilometers of road, most of which is controlled by the counties and municipalities. The state has 12,225 bridges, of which 6,814 are state-owned. Florida’s road network is in relatively good condition, Road surface quality in Florida is one of the best in the United States.

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Interstate Highways

Florida has relatively few Interstate Highways for a state with more than 20 million inhabitants. This is due to the geography of the state. Interstate 4 is the diagonal connection across central Florida from Tampa via Orlando to Daytona Beach. Interstate 10 forms an east-west route through the Florida Panhandle, from Pensacola through Tallahassee to Jacksonville. Interstate 75 runs along the west coast and crosses the Everglades to end at Miami. Interstate 95 forms a north-south route along the urbanized east coast, starting in Miami and leading through many coastal cities to Jacksonville.

In addition, there are a number of auxiliary routes of the Interstates. Interstate 110 is a spur in Pensacola, and Interstate 175 and Interstate 375 are spurs in St. Petersburg. Interstate 195 and Interstate 395 are spurs in Miami. Interstate 275 is a fairly long urban route through the Tampa Bay region, passing over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Interstate 295 forms the Jacksonville beltway and Interstate 595 is an east-west connection to Fort Lauderdale. Finally, Interstate 795 forms a spur near Jacksonville.

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US Highways

Numerous US Highways traverse Florida. Due to the high population density, many US Highways have been constructed as a 2×2 divided highway. US 1 runs first on the Overseas Highway from Key West to Miami and then along the east coast of Florida. US 17 is largely a 2×2 route from Port Charlotte via Orlando to Jacksonville, while US 19 is a major west coast route from St. Petersburg north. In Pinellas County it is partly a freeway. US 27 forms a north-south inland route just west of Orlando and is largely a 2×2 divided highway. The US 41 is the southernmost route through the Everglades and then follows the west coast to Tampa, before turning a little more inland. US 29 is the westernmost north-south route, near Pensacola.

In addition, there are many other US Highways that are partially or completely equipped with 2×2 lanes. US 92 is an urban route paralleled by I-4 and US 98 along the Gulf of Mexico, all the way from Pensacola north of Tampa, then inland to West Palm Beach. US 301 forms a diagonal connection between Ocala and the Georgia border with 2×2 lanes. US 441 is a major city highway in the Miami area.

State Roads

In Florida one speaks of a ‘state road’. The numbering runs from 1 to 999, although State Road 1 is everywhere called SR-A1A. The numbering system is formed in a grid, with even numbers running east-west and odd numbers running north-south. The state is divided into 9 strips with the state routes 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 as dividing lines, between which the three-digit state roads are positioned. Thus road numbers with consecutive numbers often occur in the same region. The numbers are assigned to all types of roads, these can be single lane rural roads, wide urban arterials, freeways and toll roads. Due to the numbering system, you mainly see numbers in the 400 series around Orlando and in the series 800 around Miami.

Like many states, Florida also has a state road number assigned to US Highways and Interstate Highways, but these are not signposted, and are for internal administrative use. In some cases, named toll roads are also numbered, but this number is not used on the signage, such as State Road 91, more commonly known as Florida’s Turnpike. Because of the numbering system, the height of the number says little about its importance. Most highways with a state road number in Florida have a three-digit number.

In 1917, Florida road numbering was introduced for the first time, and became law from 1923. Beginning in 1926, the state road numbers of US Highways were also signposted. The numbering went up chronologically from the moment they were created. This resulted in a cluttered numbering system that had little logic. In 1945 the network was therefore completely renumbered in a grid. From the mid-seventies many state roads were transferred to the lower authorities. Initially, these numbers were prefixed with S for ‘secondary’ and C for ‘county’. Later, these prefixes were dropped. In southern Florida in particular, many state roads were handed over to lower governments.


The history of Florida’s highway system began with the construction of Florida’s Turnpike, the first section of which opened in 1957. Since these plans predate the Interstate Highway system in 1956, the road was constructed as a toll road. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, much of the Interstate Highways were opened, such as I-95 in the Miami area and Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, I-4 from Tampa to Orlando and Daytona Beach, I-10 in the north from the state and part of I-75 to Tampa. Florida has been one of the fastest-growing states in the country since the 1940s, growing from 1.9 million inhabitants in 1940 to 9.7 million in 1980.

In the 1980s, a number of important links were opened, such as I-75 between Tampa and Naples, the last parts of I-95 that runs parallel to Florida’s Turnpike, and parts of I-275 in St. Petersburg. I-75 through the Everglades was completed in the early 1990s. However, Florida’s population growth did not stop, rising from 9.7 million in 1980 to 18.8 million in 2010. In more recent years, more toll roads have been built in metropolitan areas to cope with the rapid growth in traffic demand. to be able to comply. Many toll roads have been built especially around Orlando, but also around Tampa and Miami. The traditional regions are now built-up, so that the rest of the coast is gradually urbanised. Only the city of Orlando is an inland growth center. In particular, the Interstate 75 corridor is urbanizing, as is along I-95 in central Florida. Growth in Jacksonville is somewhat more limited, especially in the western cities of Tallahassee and Pensacola, which means that these two cities do not have a fast-growing road network.

In the period 2010-2020, large parts of I-75 and I-95 were widened to 2×3 lanes on the routes between the major cities. Since then, the entirety of I-95 has at least 2×3 lanes, as has virtually all of I-75, except for the passage through the Everglades (Alligator Alley). A major reconstruction of I-4 through Orlando will be completed in 2021.


The development of the Florida road network is mainly centered around the metropolitan areas. In addition, I-75 and I-95 will be further widened to 2×3 lanes between major cities. A possible new highway should run from Tampa to Jacksonville.

Toll roads

Florida is the state with the most toll roads in the United States, especially around Miami, Tampa and Orlando are a large number of toll roads for urban traffic. Florida’s Turnpike is a long-distance toll road across the center of the peninsula, connecting Ocala with Orlando and Miami. The electronic toll goes through the SunPass. In 2010 and 2014, many toll roads switched to purely electronic toll collection with the SunPass or toll-by-plate.

Road numbering

Florida’s State Roads are numbered in a zoned grid. Even numbers run east-west and odd numbers run north-south. The main routes from 2 to 94 run south from the north. The three-digit numbers run in the zones between the two-digit numbers, for example the three-digit numbers with a 4 run between the SR-40 and SR-50. For example, SR-417 then runs north-south between SR-40 and SR-50. The zones are thus strips from east to west in Florida, with the numbering increasing southwards.

Florida Road Network