I-95 crack snarls morning commute

Author: Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Steve Patrick, Managing editor of digital content, spatrick@news4jax.com
Published On: Jan 09 2014 12:16:38 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 09 2014 07:40:42 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A crack opened up in a lane of Interstate 95 northbound near downtown overnight, backing up the morning commute. That lane and two entrance ramps to I-95 in San Marco are not expected to reopen until Thursday night.

Not only did motorists in San Marco and St. Nicholas and get detoured onto surface streets -- which backed up Hendricks Avenue and San Marco Boulevards -- but I-95 northbound traffic slowed to a crawl.

"It's very backed up. I've been in traffic almost an hour," one driver said.

Another motorist said: "This is insane. I've been trying to get to Baymeadows for one hour and 41 minutes."

A taxi driver, who definitely knows the alternate routes, says it didn't matter. Those were backed up, too.

"I would say it's really busy," Richard Hoster said. "It takes you about 15 minutes to get like a mile from south of Philips to downtown. It takes quite a while."

No doubt thousands of people were late to work and appointments.

"It's very frustrating because we're both trying to get our hair done, and it's like we're supposed to be there at 9:30, and here it is 10 o'clock," said a driver stuck in the mess.

"Traffic is horrendous this morning," another driver said. "We're trying to make a meeting where I'm supposed to speak and I've had to call them and tell them I'll be late."

Many motorists said they were not aware of the trouble until they found themselves stuck in a mess.

"Not a clue, and that's part of the frustration," said Frank Biden. "There didn't seem to be signage to say what exactly is going on."

The Florida Department of Transportation says quick-setting concrete will be poured and the new slab could cured by 9 p.m.  Once it is determined the concrete has hardened property, the lane and related ramps can reopen.