I-295 expressway lanes completion pushed back

Project was to be done in January, now summer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Drivers will have to wait a bit longer before using the express lanes along I-295 in Mandarin. The January completion date has been pushed back to summer.

The Florida Department of Transportation said bad weather isn't the only thing to blame for the slow progress.

For over three years, crews have been working on constructing express lanes along I-295 in Mandarin. It will allow drivers to bypass heavy traffic by using tolled lanes. But progress has been slow on the nearly 6-mile stretch from I-95 to the Buckman Bridge. It was supposed to be done in January.

FDOT tells News4Jax that relocating the drainage system is a major component of the express lanes project that's holding things up. As a result, crews had to build a new retention pond off Chapelgate Road and it could take subcontractors another two weeks to finish it."

Or longer.

FDOT said the primary contractor is responsible for hiring subcontractors that take on special projects like moving drainage systems. The issue is that the sub-contractor already has a laundry list of other projects across the state and severe weather can throw off scheduling. 

THE VISION: See what the project will look like once completed

However, FDOT said the contractors will be held accountable for delays that aren't caused by weather. When the project is complete, a lengthy process will begin where consulting engineers negotiate with contractors to recoup the extra cost incurred beyond the original contract.