JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation held a public meeting Monday regarding proposed changes to Beach Boulevard between Southside Boulevard and Eve Drive.
The meeting comes after two bicyclists were struck, one fatally, days apart last week near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Southside Boulevard. Last year, the I-TEAM found the busy Southside intersection was the second most dangerous in Duval County, with 33 crashes.
The meeting took place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Regency Square Branch Library and a public comment period followed. There were renderings on display, and project staff and consultants were on hand to answer any questions, including those about safety.
"It's been noted we have seen some unfortunate incidents recently with pedestrians, so we are always looking for ways to make our roads safer for everyone that uses them," said FDOT Public Information Officer Sara Pleasants. "We have had a lot of vehicle collisions at this intersection, so it's trying to reduce those, as well."
FDOT officials said the proposed improvements include:
- Construction of a restricted crossing U-turn (RCUT) on Beach Boulevard to northbound Southside Boulevard and northbound Eve Drive.
- Construction of a displaced left turn (DLT) on Beach Boulevard to southbound Southside Boulevard.
- Construction of a bypass right turn lane on Southside Boulevard to eastbound Beach Boulevard.
- Construction of median improvements and pedestrian facilities at the intersection of Patton Road and Southside Service Road.
- Widening Beach Boulevard and Southside Boulevard to accommodate RCUT and DLT.
- Construction of traffic signals, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and driveway modifications to accommodate RCUT and DLT.
- Construction of overhead and post-mounted signs and pavement markings to accommodate RCUT and DLT.
- Milling and resurfacing within the project limits.
"It's a safety improvement project," Pleasants said. "There are pedestrian improvements included to make the intersection safer for pedestrians, to try to reduce some of those incidents, as well as improvements to make the traffic flow more efficiently for motorists."
Pleasants said construction would start in winter 2020 and wrap up in the summer of 2022.
More information on the project is available at nflroads.com.