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Construction aims to improve I-10, US-301 interchange

Safety for truck drivers, other motorists the focus

BALDWIN, Fla. – Construction at I-10 and US-301 is underway to help alleviate the traffic and accommodate the growing number of trucks that use that interchange. 

Baldwin has become a hub for truck drivers transporting products to and from Jacksonville. The I-10/US-301 interchange is a popular spot for truck drivers to refuel and rest. But engineers with the Florida Department of Transportation noticed there were some flaws to the interchange.

Engineers believe there's not enough space for trucks to slow down on the ramps from I-10 to US-301. Truck traffic often backs up on US-301 northbound waiting to make the turn onto I-10 eastbound. They also said the overpasses on I-10 in Baldwin need to be higher to accommodate larger trucks.

FDOT crews were working to make improvements, but they say there have been some bumps in the road.

Recent storms like Hurricane Irma have delayed progress along the I-10/US-301 interchange. The project completion date has been pushed back to fall of 2019. But when it's done it's going to help drivers behind the wheel of big rigs.

That includes reconstructing the entrance ramps from US-301 to I-10 eastbound. A new ramp will allow US-301 northbound traffic to smoothly exit onto I-10 after the intersection. This will cut down on the backup of traffic at the exit. 

There will be an additional lane to give trucks and other cars more space and time to merge onto I-10, and the exit lanes on I-10 will be wider to accommodate semis.

Truck drivers said the changes will make their jobs a little easier and safer. But they say other drivers need to be more mindful.

"Cars are going to cut in front of trucks," truck driver Steven Brown said. "They're going to be in a hurry. Not much you can do about that."