JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville is trying once again to get the federal government to pay for the demolition of the Hart Bridge ramps, a move that would pave the way for waterfront development near the stadium.
Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration has been pushing a plan since November 2016 to tear down the ramps in the hopes of redeveloping the Shipyards property and Lot J near TIAA Bank Field.
The goal is to remove the segment of the overpass directly in front of the Maxwell House plant and the Duval County jail, leaving the segment north of Bay Street untouched.
Earlier this year, the federal government denied the city’s request for $25 million to make that vision a reality. This time, the city is seeking $12 million, or roughly half of the original funding request.
In its latest proposal, the city said overhauling the existing road design would not only provide safer access to the riverfront and sports complex, it would also bring in $2.5 billion in new investments.
The proposal said the move would help reduce flooding with the addition of new drainage systems to filter water runoff into the nearby St. Johns River.
As part of the proposal, the city wants to raise medians and add bike lanes near the stadium to slow traffic and make the area safer for foot and bicycle traffic.
The total cost for the first phase of the project would be about $37.5 million. The city is expected to chip in $12.5 million of that, with $12.5 million already set aside by the state.
The project is anticipated to come up for discussion at City Hall when budget talks kick off this week. The city hopes to hear from the federal government by October.