Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Florida History: 'Pike paves the way to South Florida boom in 1957

By Jane Feehan

(For more Florida history, see JanesHistoryNook.blogspot.com )

Governor LeRoy Collins officially open Florida’s turnpike, the Sunshine State Parkway, January 25, 1957. The first leg of the road stretched 110 miles from the Golden Glades in Miami to Fort Pierce.

Before the turnpike, a trip from Fort Pierce to Miami took nearly four hours; after the road opened the same distance could be covered in 108 minutes.

A year later, the Florida turnpike was determined a success.  Records revealed that 3,649,502 vehicles traveled the road carrying approximately 11,000,000 passengers.

Also, there were:
251 accidents
129 injuries
6 deaths or 3.6 deaths per 100,000,000 vehicle miles

Gross income: $4,450,000
Approximate costs: $1,280,000

A second section of the Sunshine State Parkway, from Fort Pierce to Wildwood, opened in 1964. The final part connected Miami to Homestead in 1974. Revenues in 2010 reached $596 million, an increase of 1 percent from the preceding year. The contributions the turnpike made to South Florida’s building boom of the 1950s and 1960s … inestimable. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.

Miami News, Jan. 19, 1957

Miami News, Jan 26, 1958

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Tags: Florida history, Florida turnpike history, Sunshine State Parkway history, South Florida history, Florida road history, film researcher

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