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^^ US-1. I actually heard a cool story from a woman who has lived in South Florida since 1950. She's lived in Boca Raton (go figure) her whole life, and told me that there was no west of US-1. Just north and south, and the only stops between Boca and Miami was Atlantic Ave in Pompano Bch, downtown Ft. Lauderdale, and Dania Beach antique stores.

The kicker was that a car ride in 1952 from Boca to Ft. Lauderdale down US-1 was 20 minutes!
 

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^^ US-1. I actually heard a cool story from a woman who has lived in South Florida since 1950. She's lived in Boca Raton (go figure) her whole life, and told me that there was no west of US-1.
She's pulling your leg. There was plenty of activity west of US-1 all along the stretch from Boca to Miami, considerably due to the military buildup during WWII.

The Boca Airport, Pompano Airpark, Lauderdale Executive, Lauderdale Int'l, North Perry, Opa Locka, Miami Int'l...All heavily involved during WWII, all catalysts for growth in their respective areas, all west of US-1...Not to mention the numerous other military airports in the area which have since closed and were developed over.

Heck, even old-town Pompano alone was west of US-1 (closer to the FEC tracks), and the city's coming up on it's 100th year anniversary next year...
 

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My mom worked at Opa-Locka airport back in the 1970s for a little airline ("Marco Island Airways") that probably nobody remembers. It was an adjunct of the Deltona Corporation that originally developed Marco.

Anyway, that was a fun airport to hang out at. Tons of vintage planes plus the decrepit blimp base. It was WW2 all the way, as you said. I remember the whole "staff" out there being exceedingly nice and accomodating to a certain pain-in-the-ass kid with an obsessive interest in airplanes.

Nixon used to fly into there all the time. He had his "vacation" White House on Key Biscayne and would ride in a limo from Opa-Locka.

But the BEST Opa-Locka story (at least from that era) is this one:

One day in 1973 or 74 a Delta Airlines flight landed there. A Delta Airlines flight full of passengers. Hundreds of passengers.

The problem (as you've probably figured out by now) is that this Delta flight was SUPPOSED to land at Miami International---seven miles to the south. But instead it landed at Opa-Locka. Both airports are at almost exactly the same longitude.

Nothing was wrong with the plane. The pilot just literally had a brain-fart and confused one airport for the other. He literally thought traffic-control in Miami was bringing him onto a MIA runway. Once he started his descent, it was too late. The tower at Opa-Locka just brought him in. And this being the early 70s nobody was immediately thinking lawsuit. It was just funny and forgotten about. Everybody got where they were going. There were no cellphones, no internet, no instant news. Most of those passengers never even knew they were at the wrong airport...and those that did got a cover story involving "safety" lol. It was almost as if everybody involved took an oath of silence.

TRUE story. If it happened today we'd probably go on orange alert and have missiles flying across the sky (sigh)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My mom worked at Opa-Locka airport back in the 1970s for a little airline ("Marco Island Airways") that probably nobody remembers. It was an adjunct of the Deltona Corporation that originally developed Marco.

Anyway, that was a fun airport to hang out at. Tons of vintage planes plus the decrepit blimp base. It was WW2 all the way, as you said. I remember the whole "staff" out there being exceedingly nice and accomodating to a certain pain-in-the-ass kid with an obsessive interest in airplanes.

Nixon used to fly into there all the time. He had his "vacation" White House on Key Biscayne and would ride in a limo from Opa-Locka.

But the BEST Opa-Locka story (at least from that era) is this one:

One day in 1973 or 74 a Delta Airlines flight landed there. A Delta Airlines flight full of passengers. Hundreds of passengers.

The problem (as you've probably figured out by now) is that this Delta flight was SUPPOSED to land at Miami International---seven miles to the south. But instead it landed at Opa-Locka. Both airports are at almost exactly the same longitude.

Nothing was wrong with the plane. The pilot just literally had a brain-fart and confused one airport for the other. He literally thought traffic-control in Miami was bringing him onto a MIA runway. Once he started his descent, it was too late. The tower at Opa-Locka just brought him in. And this being the early 70s nobody was immediately thinking lawsuit. It was just funny and forgotten about. Everybody got where they were going. There were no cellphones, no internet, no instant news. Most of those passengers never even knew they were at the wrong airport...and those that did got a cover story involving "safety" lol. It was almost as if everybody involved took an oath of silence.

TRUE story. If it happened today we'd probably go on orange alert and have missiles flying across the sky (sigh)...
That's funny,I bet you it took a long time for the pilot to live that faux pas down.
 

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And Ive heard but i dont know if its true that Amelia Earhart flew out of Opa-Locka Airport when she died.
Hmmm...I know that she took off from Miami (it may have even been the first leg of her fateful trip) but not sure if Opa-Locka Airport existed yet. It was built up as a military field during WW2 (hence the blimp hanger and concrete barracks on the site) but I don't know if there was a simple airstrip or something predating that.
 

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And Ive heard but i dont know if its true that Amelia Earhart flew out of Opa-Locka Airport when she died.
Hmmm...I know that she took off from Miami (it may have even been the first leg of her fateful trip) but not sure if Opa-Locka Airport existed yet. It was built up as a military field during WW2 (hence the blimp hanger and concrete barracks on the site) but I don't know if there was a simple airstrip or something predating that.
It wasn't Opa-Locka, but an another airport which, at the time in 1937, was known as Miami Municipal Airport (later to be known as "South Field #2"/"Navy Municipal Field" when it was purchased by the Navy from the city in 1942 for military use):





Miami Municipal actually has a rich history, not only for being the origin of Amelia Earhart's ill-fated flight, but for being the location where both Eastern and National Airlines began operations.

It even sat immediately adjacent to an even larger airport named "All American Field" which, in 1938, became the *first* Miami International Airport...Later to be purchased by the Navy in 1942 as well, becoming "Master Field"/"South Field #1":



Miami Municipal Airport on the left, Master Field on the right, separated by railroad tracks, but connected by a taxiway.


-----


So where was this conglomeration of criss-crossing runways and taxiways, you may ask?

That would be.....*drumroll*.....The present-day site of Miami Dade Community College's North Campus. ;)





Source (+ more details, pictures, etc.)


-Bum :eek:kay:
 

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Thanks for that, FTL. I remember reading about all that years ago but had totally forgotten the details.

If you look at the Dade-North photo you can still see the remnants of two of those runways just to the right of center.

Neat stuff...:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It looks like that project on 79 th strreet and 7th avenue(441) looks like its topped off.What is the name of the project that is completed west of the Golden Glades Exchange? What other projects are planned for 441? This stretch of highway needs improvement.
 
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