Florida State Road 869

Florida State Road 869

Infobox FL State Road
alternate_name=Sawgrass Expressway
length_ref=Fact|date=February 2007
from=Jct|state=FL|I|75|I|595 in Weston
junction=Jct|state=FL|US|441|SR|7 in Parkland
Jct|state=FL|FLTP| in Deerfield Beach
Jct|state=FL|I|95 in Deerfield Beach
to=Jct|state=FL|US|1 in Deerfield Beach

State Road 869, also designated the Sawgrass Expressway, is a 23-mile-long, limited-access toll bypass of Broward County, Florida, extending westward from US 1 (SR 5) in Deerfield Beach as a surface street (SE/SW 10th Street), then becoming a toll expressway as it passes Florida's Turnpike (although there is no westbound access to the turnpike or eastbound access from the turnpike), then bending southward as it goes around Coral Springs towards its end at the junction of Interstate 75 (SR 93), Interstate 595 (SR 862), and SR 84 in Weston. Opened in July 1986, it was constructed by the Broward County Expressway Authority. Bonds were sold in 1984 to finance construction and again in 1986 to partially refund the 1984 bonds. Senate Bill 1316 authorized the FDOT to acquire the Sawgrass Expressway as part of the Turnpike system, subject to economic feasibility tests and the covenants of the outstanding bonds. The requirements were met, and in 1990, the Sawgrass became part of Florida's Turnpike system of toll roads.

Originally planned to be the University-Deerfield Expressway when it was first proposed in 1969, it was supposed to be the northernmost part of a chain of expressways from Deerfield Beach to Coral Gables, but the proposed Snake Creek Expressway (in Broward County) became part of the Florida's Turnpike Extension and the LeJeune-Douglas Expressway (in Dade County) failed in the 1970s as construction budgets narrowed roadbuilding capabilities. On the other hand, the rerouting of Interstate 75 from the Tamiami Trail to Alligator Alley increased the necessity of a northern/western bypass of Broward County and invigorated the project -- which had acquired a new route and a new name, the Sawgrass-Deerfield Expressway.

A series of cost-cutting measures for the proposed toll road included removal of all planned rest stops and a shortening of the name of the road to Sawgrass Expressway (A consultant stated in an interview, "Those overhead signs are damn expensive"). SR 869 opened for traffic in 1984.

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise purchased the 23-mile Sawgrass Express from the Broward County Expressway Authority in December 1990 as part of the expansion program authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1990 Senate Bill 1316.

Unlike most roads, the Sawgrass Expressway had a mascot, a swamp frog named Cecil B. Sawgrass, who appeared on signs greeting motorists entering the tollway from Florida's Turnpike. Signs featuring Cecil are becoming rare, however, as most newer Expressway signage uses only a standard TOLL 869 shield. One of the few remaining signs featuring Cecil B. Sawgrass, until recently, could be found at the Expressway's interchange with SR 845 (Powerline Road).

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